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Archive for September, 2013

What Can I Expect to Happen to My Teeth and Gums as I Age?

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Contrary to popular beliefs, your smile doesn’t fall apart as you age. There is no expiration date on your grin, and there is no reason that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy strong healthy teeth even during the Golden Years of your life.

There is one truth about the aging process: Getting older can take a toll on your whole body, and that includes your oral health. A lifetime of wear and tear, changes in your diet, and changes in your health will require a change in the way that you care for your teeth, making routine appointments with your dentist more valuable than ever.

It’s not the age of your teeth and gums, but rather the conditions that affect them, which can impact your oral health as you age. 

It’s not the age of your teeth and gums, but rather the conditions that affect them, which can impact your oral health as you age.

Forceful chewing, clenching and grinding, or old fillings can weaken the teeth considerably. The stress can lead to microscopic fracture lines and increase your risk for breaking a tooth. To prevent a fracture or to repair a broken tooth, a crown is often recommended for mature adults.

The same forces that can weaken the teeth may also weaken the gums. These circumstances can increase your risk for periodontal disease and receding gums. These conditions can also lead to increasingly sensitive teeth as you age.

If you experience any decline in your health or an increase in your medications, you may be subjected to side effects that can change the state of your dental health. Dry mouth, tooth decay, and decreased resistance to infection are side-effects that are common to thousands of different medications.

For particularly elderly patients, a diet that consists of softer foods can be a recipe for disaster during a time when you might find it more challenging to brush and floss well. As we get older, we may lose the manual dexterity that helps us to perform thorough oral hygiene and plaque control.

Your dentist is your partner and can help you to prepare for the challenges that lay ahead. Many of the situations that could cause dental problems later in life can be prevented or managed with regularly scheduled professional care. To plan your next visit to Ora Dental Studio, call 312-328-9007 today.

Can I Get Lumineers Instead of Braces?

Monday, September 16th, 2013

If you were to take an informal poll to find out how the average person feels about their smile, you would probably find out that we have a lot in common. Many of us would like to fix one or more cosmetic flaws to make our smiles more attractive and healthy-looking.

Mild or moderate flaws can make us feel insecure about our smile and might even influence the way that other people perceive us. It is fortunate that, in this age of modern technology, options such as Lumineers are available to conceal the issues that concern us the most.

For example, mild or moderate crowding could be corrected with braces, but many adults would prefer to bypass the old-fashioned brackets and wires in favor of a quicker and more comfortable solution.  And, choosing a solution to your cosmetic concerns isn’t always about convenience. It is imperative that you choose the option that can best accommodate all of your concerns as safely and efficiently as possible.

That’s why, when you are not pleased with the appearance of your front teeth, Lumineers may be a particularly valid treatment option. Very similar, yet more conservative, than traditional porcelain veneers, Lumineers will be made to cover the surfaces of the front teeth that can be seen when you smile. In light of their design, these restorations can make your teeth appear to be straighter, larger, smaller, whiter, and more uniform in shape—all at the same time!

In contrast, braces can straighten your teeth, but cannot be used to change any other characteristics about your teeth. And, based on the informal statistics from your survey, it is probably safe to say that most of us would change multiple aspects of our smile if the solution was reasonable, safe, and affordable.

It should be noted that Lumineers are not a treatment option for certain orthodontic conditions. Crowding or spacing that impacts the back teeth, or severe bite discrepancies of the front teeth may not be suitably treated with Lumineers, since those types of skeletal conditions cannot be corrected with cosmetic treatments alone.

Schedule a consultation with our experienced team of cosmetic dentists today to learn more about Lumineers.

Treatment Options to Close Spaces Between Teeth

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Whether you wish to promote a more professional appearance, or if you would just like your smile to look better in pictures, you may be interested in the advantages of porcelain veneers, especially if you are unhappy with the gaps or spaces between your teeth.

Spaces between your teeth, whether the spaces are large or small, can have a disastrous effect on your smile. Gaps between the teeth seem to magnetically attract bits of food whenever you have a meal. Lettuce, granola, stringy meat, and even popcorn seem to get wedged in between your teeth, a scenario that can be quite embarrassing when you enjoy meals in public. 

There are several options for closing the spaces and improving your appearance, but mild to moderate cases can often be resolved faster and more conservatively with veneers.

When this problem affects your front teeth, the repercussions are even more frustrating. Even when there’s nothing stuck between your teeth, the visual appearance of the spaces can have an unsatisfying cosmetic impact. In pictures, spaces and gaps can cast dark shadows that keep your smile from looking clean. You may also find that you are reluctant to flash your brightest smile during your social or professional interactions with other people.

There are several options for closing the spaces and improving your appearance, but mild to moderate cases can often be resolved faster and more conservatively with veneers. These custom porcelain restorations involve a preparation technique that is less aggressive than full-coverage crowns, and the procedure can be completed in a treatment time that is considerably faster than braces. Each veneer can be crafted in a size and width that compensates for the empty space between the teeth for an impressively natural-looking result.

Veneers are an attractive and appealing treatment option for closing spaces between the front teeth only. When your spacing concerns are more comprehensive or involve the back teeth as well as the front teeth, your cosmetic dentist may suggest another high-tech solution such as Invisalign removable orthodontic aligners.

To explore your treatment alternatives in greater detail, arrange a consultation with our team of cosmetic dentists at Ora Dental Studio today.