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Archive for January, 2013

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

That daily cup of coffee, cola, wine, berries, some medications, tobacco use and aging … these are just a few of the reasons why teeth may have become stained. Your cosmetic dentist can offer several treatment options to fit your needs, timeline, and budgetary guidelines.

Extrinsic stains are those on the surface of the teeth. They are mostly impacted by diet and lifestyle. Tobacco use can cast a yellow discoloration on the teeth while dark beverages can make teeth take on a grey appearance. But your teeth can be whitened up to eight shades in one visit with the aid of Zoom! in-office teeth whitening.

A trained whitening specialist will prepare you for your session by protecting the soft tissues of the mouth and gums. The most advanced whitening aid available is applied to your teeth and enhanced by the use of a laser or curing light. In one brief appointment, Zoom! whitening will give you a Hollywood smile that is safe, long lasting, and now can even strengthen your tooth enamel. 

Tobacco use can cast a yellow discoloration on the teeth while dark beverages can make teeth take on a grey appearance.

These are results that can’t compare to over the counter kits that do not offer professional advice and administration, and produce little, if any, whitening benefit.

Intrinsic stains are a little more complex. Medication or over-fluoridation can produce uneven tooth coloring or spots on teeth. Although whitening may help, some cases may require more extensive treatment. In these cases, your cosmetic dentist may recommend dental veneers.

A veneer is a very thin, shell like covering that is fabricated to match the surrounding teeth. The veneer is permanently cemented to the front of teeth that are damaged or stained.

Benefits of dental veneers include:

• Very little of the tooth’s enamel is removed making this one of the least invasive cosmetic options available.

• Veneers can treat more than just dental stain: chipped teeth, spaces between teeth, misshapen or uneven teeth can all be repaired with veneers.

• Treated teeth enjoy added strength.

• Treatment is undetectable as the dental professional has worked with the dental lab to fabricate the perfect match to surrounding, untreated teeth.

Hiding your smile due to dental imperfections is easily diagnosed and treatable. A bright new smile can be achieved in as little as one visit. See how a consultation with our team of cosmetic dentists at Ora Dental Studio can improve your appearance and boost your self-confidence. Call 312-491-9474 to schedule an appointment today.

Fractured Tooth: What are my options?

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

A tooth that has been fractured should be salvaged if at all possible. When faced with the choice of preserving the tooth with a dental crown or losing the tooth, the best option is most always saving the tooth.

There are many types of dental restorations available to offer the most appropriate repair while satisfying budgetary needs and aesthetic preferences.

A solution for dental decay on a tooth that has been previously repaired with a filling, a porcelain onlay or inlay (depending on the location of the decay) may be the preferred option. Another filling may do more damage to the tooth resulting in needing a full crown eventually.

When a tooth is fractured, a full crown is usually offered as the best treatment option. The base of the tooth is salvaged and a crown is fabricated that will provide the best match to the surrounding teeth, making this repair virtually indiscernible from the natural teeth.

Based on which tooth needs repair, there are different thoughts on the best material for the crown. For a back tooth that must bear much of the pressure from chewing, your dentist will advise which type of crown is best. A tooth located in the smile line may benefit from a total porcelain crown.

Another repair that might call for the use of dental crowns is a final restoration to complete root canal therapy. A root canal is needed to relieve a tooth suffering from infection. The nerve and surrounding pulp are removed from each root of the tooth. A protective filling or crown is required to seal the tooth.

Composite resin and porcelain crowns have many advantages over their predecessors. Unlike amalgam, there are no safety concerns in the use of composite resin.
The aesthetic value of porcelain cannot be compared to old-fashioned metal based crowns. The dentist is able to offer an ideal match to the contour and color of surrounding teeth, and the laboratory technician fabricates the restoration to those exact specifications.

The dentist will use fabricated restorations to make sure the fit and appearance are precise. The final step is to cement it in place. The strength and protection of today’s dental repairs offer many years of smiles – seeing your dentist twice per year for needed hygiene and examinations will keep these new restorations looking and feeling their best.

If you recently fractured a tooth, contact our skilled team of dentists at Ora Dental Studio to schedule an appointment.

How Stress Can Affect Your Oral Health

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

Living in the free world is certainly a blessing, but not totally without burden. Almost a century ago, there was the Great Depression followed by several wars and times of uncertainty. But there has not been a time that many would be able to remember where so many people have been impacted so personally as in recent years. Down economy, unemployment, and daily concern about how to care for the family has forced many to bypass things that may have been taken for granted at one time, such as seeing the dentist for preventive care.

Stress can impact overall health, but the teeth and gums may be where stress manifests itself first. Emotions like worry or stress are not easily forgotten just because it is time to sleep. It is not unusual for someone to subconsciously clench and grind their teeth throughout the night.

A partner may be the first one to recognize teeth grinding, but other identifiers include awakening with a sore jaw, neck, ear or head. Many people tend to ignore these minor aches and accept them as normal. But the act of bruxism during sleep can eventually progress to subconsciously clenching and grinding throughout the day. 

Stress can impact overall health, but the teeth and gums may be where stress manifests itself first. 

The consequences of this habit can be costly and permanent. Enamel can literally be ground down, creating a malocclusion. A tooth can be cracked or broken, or a tooth repaired previously with a filling can sustain damage that can become infected. If this happens, root canal therapy or losing the tooth may be the only options.

In trying times, it is easy to put off those trips to the dentist twice per year for hygiene and a thorough dental exam. But if dental problems are diagnosed before reaching this serious stage, the cost, discomfort and inconvenience may be eliminated.

In an attempt to escape from daily problems some turn to habits like smoking, excessive alcohol or illicit drugs as a means to provide temporary relief, but these very things may contribute to poor oral health. Gum disease, mouth sores, and tooth loss are evident in patients that engage in these habits much more often than those who don’t. In addition, these habits will not resolve the clenching and grinding.

Daily stressors will likely never go away completely, but preventive dental care is one option to possibly avert a costly and inconvenient consequence. If stress is starting to affect your smile, contact our skilled team at Ora Dental Studio. Call us at 312-491-9474 to schedule an appointment today.