Friday, March 22, 2019

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers – Choosing the Right Material

Choosing to have dental veneers placed is the first step to improving the aesthetics of your teeth and getting that winning smile you’ve longed for. Determining what material to go with is the second.

Composite resin and porcelain are the most commonly used materials in the veneer fabrication process. In the hands of an experienced cosmetic dentist, both materials can beautifully transform your smile. But how do you know which type is right for you? This comes down to your specific needs and which factors are most important to you (cost, treatment time, etc.). Let’s evaluate some of the differences between composite and porcelain veneers.

Advantages of Composite Veneers
Composite veneers have a number of advantages over porcelain, chief among which is cost. On average, porcelain veneers are twice as expensive as composites, which is very important for some people given that most treatments are not covered by insurance, meaning you are likely paying out-of-pocket for treatment. The cost of veneers varies based on a number of factors, but composites cost on average between $250 and $1,500 per tooth. This can add up quickly in a smile makeover.

Another advantage that composite veneers have over porcelain is the fact that composites can typically be fabricated while you wait, making it a same-day treatment. Direct composite veneers (also referred to as composite bonding) are actually sculpted on your teeth rather than in an offsite lab. The tooth-shaded resin is applied to teeth directly (hence the name) where it can be shaped and sculpted by the dentist. The shaped resin is hardened using a high-intensity light, after which additional layers of resin can be applied and sculpted as needed to elicit the desired aesthetic outcome. Once finished, the resin must be polished in order to elicit a more natural, tooth-like appearance. The composite procedure therefore tends to be much less invasive and noticeably quicker than porcelain.

Arguably the biggest advantage that composite veneers have over porcelain is reversibility. Porcelain requires reshaping of your natural teeth in order to fit the veneer. When it comes to composites, minimal prep work is required on your natural teeth, meaning that they are not permanently altered to such an extent that the composite material cannot be removed and replaced as needed.

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers
Although composite veneers have a number of advantages, there is one area in which they cannot compete with porcelain: durability. Porcelain is a far stronger material than composite resin (even with the improvements in resin materials over the years). Well-maintained porcelain veneers can last 10 to 15 years, compared to the five- to seven-year average lifespan of composites. It’s important to consider this tradeoff if you’re thinking of having veneers placed. That is, while composites may cost half as much as porcelain, they last only half as long. So which is the better value?

Most dentists agree that porcelain veneers offer the most natural, tooth-like aesthetics. Porcelain has a translucent quality that is quite similar to tooth enamel. It is also highly resistant to staining and chipping due to the strength of the material and the glaze that is applied after treatment. On the other hand, composite veneers are more porous and therefore susceptible to staining, meaning that you may need to adjust your diet in order to avoid certain stain-causing foods. Composite also needs to be polished in order to achieve a tooth-like esthetic. And even then it doesn’t quite compare.

The porcelain veneer procedure is more involved, and often requires temporaries be worn while you wait for the veneers to be sculpted in a lab. However more and more dentists are embracing chairside CAD/CAM technologies that help to speed up the process by allowing for on-site fabrication. If you are looking for a porcelain veneers solution, it’s important to evaluate the sort of technologies that your dentist has available. You could end up drastically reducing the overall treatment time. Lastly, porcelain veneers offer a viable treatment solution for all cases of worn enamel, wear and tear, genetic defects, uneven teeth, etc. Composites may not be a viable option for severe concerns. For example, significant discoloration or spacing issues may not be adequately treatable with composite veneers, making porcelain your only option. Your dentist will conduct a thorough oral health evaluation as part of your consultation to determine your options.

Composite or Porcelain… What’s the Verdict?
At the end of the day, the only way to determine whether a composite or porcelain veneer solution is right for you is to speak with your dentist about your aesthetic goals and to weigh your personal considerations. In other words, what is most important to you? If you’re looking for the most cost-effective solution, then a composite veneers treatment plan will probably be a good fit. However, if you have a severe aesthetic concern, or you’re looking for the most natural and durable treatment solution (and cost is not a consideration), then porcelain veneers will give you a fantastic result.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

What Causes Tooth Staining?

Age: There is a direct correlation between tooth color and age. Over the years, teeth darken as a result of wear and tear and stain accumulation. Teenagers will likely experience immediate, dramatic results from whitening. In the twenties, as the teeth begin to show a yellow cast, whitening may require a little more effort. By the forties, the yellow gives way to brown and more maintenance may be called for. By the fifties, the teeth have absorbed a host of stubborn stains which can prove difficult (but not impossible) to remove.

Starting color: We are all equipped with an inborn tooth color that ranges from yellow-brownish to greenish-grey, and intensifies over time. Yellow-brown is generally more responsive to bleaching than green-grey.

Translucency and thinness
: These are also genetic traits that become more pronounced with age. While all teeth show some translucency, those that are opaque and thick have an advantage: they appear lighter in color, show more sparkle and are responsive to bleaching. Teeth that are thinner and more transparent – most notably the front teeth – have less of the pigment that is necessary for bleaching. According to cosmetic dentists, transparency is the only condition that cannot be corrected by any form of teeth whitening.

Eating habits: The habitual consumption of red wine, coffee, tea, cola, carrots, oranges and other deeply-colored beverages and foods causes considerable staining over the years. In addition, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and vinegar contribute to enamel erosion. As a result, the surface becomes more transparent and more of the yellow-colored dentin shows through.

Smoking habits: Nicotine leaves brownish deposits which slowly soak into the tooth structure and cause intrinsic discoloration.

Drugs / chemicals: Tetracycline usage during tooth formation produces dark grey or brown ribbon stains which are very difficult to remove. Excessive consumption of fluoride causes fluorosis (discoloration marked by the appearance of faint white marks on the teeth) and associated areas of white mottling.

Grinding: Most frequently caused by stress, teeth grinding (gnashing, bruxing, etc.) can add to micro-cracking in the teeth and can cause the biting edges to darken.

Trauma: Falls and other injuries can produce sizable cracks in the teeth, which collect large amounts of stains and debris.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

The Different Types of Teeth Whitening

What You Should Know About The Different Types of Teeth Whitening

Whitening trends making their way in and out of social media and commercials show us just how easy a variety of over-the-counter products can be. But there are there are many other options as well. We will briefly outline several options here to help you know what to discuss with your dentist at your next visit. (Please note that overuse of any of these products can result in tooth sensitivity, pain, and/or discoloration.)

Teeth Whitening at Home
Whitening Toothpaste
Whitening toothpaste use a variety of techniques to lighten your teeth. Baking soda, abrasives or chemicals are used to polish the teeth and/or give a reflective appearance that removes surface stains from teeth. Look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when considering teeth whitening toothpaste.
Timeline: They can take several weeks of use to see results.
Cost: varies, but under $30 in most cases

Over-the-Counter Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits can include strips, trays and/or brushes that allow you to put a substance on your teeth for a more extended period of time than toothpaste. These kits usually contain peroxide which bleaches your teeth to reach stains deeper than surface stains. Again, look for the ADA Seal of Acceptance when considering over the counter teeth whitening solutions.
Timeline: They take about one to two weeks to see results when used daily for a few hours.
Cost: varies, but expect to pay $50-100 for an at-home kit

Natural Remedies
Natural remedies for teeth whitening include everything from eating healthier, jumping onboard a current trend, avoiding teeth staining foods and/or sugary and acidic drinks. If you smoke or use tobacco, those are your biggest culprits, so give those up for brighter teeth.

Abrasives such as baking soda or charcoal, or rinsing agents like coconut oil can have benefits, but they are really simply creating a habit of brushing and rinsing your mouth on a daily basis. The habits of brushing twice a day, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash daily, chewing sugar-free gum and seeing your dentist twice a year results in overall good oral care.
Timeline: your lifetime
Cost: varies greatly

Teeth Whitening At The Dentist
There are lots of teeth whitening options available only at a dentist office. Depending on your specific goals and needs, your dentist can recommend the options best for you. Options can include take home kits as well as in-office professional teeth whitening treatments, which can be done over a series of visits, or in one.
Having teeth whitening done professionally means there won’t be gaps in the coverage area (typical of whitening strips), nor will they be over bleached or cause damage to your gums (which can happen with in-home self-treatments).

Take Home Kits
Many dentists provide take home teeth whitening options. Options may include a ready-made kit or custom made trays with bleach. While some of these resemble the over-the-counter whitening kits, they typically contain a more concentrated level of bleach.
Timeline: Varies depending upon strength of bleaching agent, but generally one to two weeks.
Cost: Varies by dentist, but expect to spend around $150-$200

Zoom Teeth Whitening
This procedure is only available at dental offices and uses a 25% hydrogen peroxide gel in conjunction with a special lamp to whiten your teeth.
Timeline: The procedure takes about 45 minutes and results are immediate
Cost: Expect to spend about $500

Another option only available at dental offices, Boost uses a hydrogen peroxide-based power bleaching gel for removing stains with no special light required.
Timeline: Expect to spend one to two hours in the chair; results will be immediate
Cost: Again, you can expect to spend around $500

Some stains will not respond to the traditional bleaching methods; in these cases, veneers could be an option to beautify your smile.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Oral Cancer – Symptoms and Causes

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. The national campaign was initiated by the Oral Cancer Foundation to increase awareness about a disease that affects many people’s lives. In April, dental associations from across the country are coming together to spread the word about this often overlooked disease.

Oral Cancer Facts
Approximately 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancers every year in the US according to the American Cancer Society.
Oral Cancer kills one person, every hour of every day in the United States.
Many who do survive suffer long-term problems, such as severe facial disfigurement or difficulties with eating and speaking.

Knowledge Is Power – What causes oral cancer?
You don’t have to be old and unhealthy to be at risk. Oral cancer is typically associated with tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and older age. Many people are surprised to find out that, due to the connection to the HPV virus, the fastest growing segment of oral cancer patients is young, healthy individuals.

Decrease your risk:
  • Quit all tobacco use. Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and chewing tobacco can cause cancers anywhere in the mouth or throat, as well as cancers in other parts of the body.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing oral cancer. Approximately 7 out of 10 patients with oral cancer are heavy drinkers.
  • Avoid HPV. Human papilloma virus (HPV) is a sexually-transmitted disease that is linked to oral cancer. The number of oral cancers linked to HPV has risen dramatically over the past few decades. Prevent HPV with HPV vaccinations and typical STD preventative measures.
Early detection is key. Oral cancer’s high death rates are not because it is difficult to diagnose, but because it’s typically discovered late in its development. Visit your dentist on a regular basis (we recommend every six months) to be screened for oral cancer symptoms.

Oral Cancer Symptoms
  • A lump in the mouth or throat or on the lip.
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue, or the lining of the mouth.
  • Bleeding, pain, or numbness in the mouth.
  • A sore throat that does not go away.
  • Difficulty or pain when chewing or swallowing.
  • Swelling of the jaw.
  • Hoarseness in the voice that lasts for a prolonged period of time.
  • Pain in the ear.
Get your Oral Cancer Screening at Your Local PERFECT TEETH

Oral cancer screenings are a part of all of our new patient and routine exams. When you see a PERFECT TEETH dental professional, we evaluate your risk factors and look for signs of oral cancer.

Additionally, we’re currently testing a new early oral cancer screening product called OralID at five PERFECT TEETH practices in Arizona. This optically-based technology saved our Chief Dental Officer’s Dad’s life, and we’re excited to see how it benefits PERFECT TEETH patients.

Oral Cancer Awareness Month is an opportunity for us to remind everyone that early detection is key to saving lives. It’s also an opportunity for you to understand the risk factors and to schedule your next dental appointment in hopes of avoiding this deadly disease.

Referred from:

Monday, March 11, 2019

Teeth Problems

Missing Teeth Problems – They Might Surprise You!

Imagine not being able to eat your favorite food like a juicy steak or crunchy apple because you’re missing a tooth. Or imagine not landing that dream job because your confidence is hindered by a smile with missing teeth. Unfortunately, missing teeth problems like these impact more adults than you might think! According to the American Dental Association, the average adult has three or more missing teeth or decay that warrants a tooth to be pulled and replaced. While it may be easy to just accept missing teeth, especially if they are at the back of your smile, there are serious consequences to consider if missing teeth are ignored.

Missing Teeth Problems

Missing teeth are often the result of trauma (car or sports accidents), tooth decay, poor nutrition or gum disease. While missing teeth may just seem like a cosmetic problem that many people learn to live with, missing teeth are more than just a hole in one’s smile. They can have serious physical and psychological implications that can develop. Missing teeth problems include:

Difficulty Chewing – teeth are designed for chewing, so when teeth are missing, it makes it difficult to chew. Chewing can cause pain for the person, causing them to eat less or eat different foods, sometimes resulting in poor nutrition.
Shifting Teeth – when there is excess room around a tooth caused by a missing tooth, teeth shift. You may see them gap or crowd each other, causing greater long-term problems, including painful bite misalignment. Tooth decay may become more difficult to reach when teeth begin to collide, which puts them at greater risk to be lost as well.
Speech issues – which can be embarrassing and diminish self-confidence, just like physical appearance.
Bone loss – missing teeth can actually cause bone loss in the jaw and face due to atrophy (the weakening and decrease of tissue) causing a change in your facial structure. In most cases, this leads to looking older and the face shrinking in.
Early aging – without your teeth to support the skin around the mouth, the skin can start to sag making those with missing teeth appear older than they are.
Compromised mental health – a 2014 study found a link between missing teeth and both depression and anxiety.
Loss of confidence – a 2015 study by the American Dental Association found that 23% of people reported embarrassment and avoidance of smiling due to their missing teeth.
Missed job opportunities –that same study found 28% of people surveyed felt the appearance of their teeth affected their ability to get a job

Solutions for Missing Teeth Problems
If you are one of the estimated 178 million Americans missing a tooth (or two), you don’t have to continue suffering – there are solutions for missing teeth problems. Visiting your dentist is the first step to finding the solution for your missing teeth problems. Common solutions include:

Dental Implants: Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or a full set of teeth (and anywhere in between). Secure and stable, they are designed to last for significant time periods and they look, feel and function like real teeth! Dental implants are almost always the best option for replacing missing teeth.

Bridges: Bridges are another possible option when only one or a few teeth are missing. A bridge will be supported by the surrounding teeth, but will eventually need to be replaced.

Dentures: Dentures are often considered a last resort in cases where dental implants are not an option. They are often uncomfortable for the patient and most patients will still experience bone loss/atrophy and the early aging associated with it.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

What Causes Bad Breath

Bad breath, we all know what it is and we’ve all been embarrassed by our own from time to time. But what causes it? Knowing and understanding what causes bad breath can help you prevent it and the embarrassment that often accompanies it. Read on to learn more about what causes bad breath and quit being afraid of getting close.

What Causes Bad Breath?

Also called halitosis, bad breath can be caused by a number of issues.

Food. Some of the foods we eat can give us temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, coffee, spicy or fragrant foods can leave your mouth less than fresh. Brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum, or use mouthwash for a burst of freshness.

Tobacco. Smoking and tobacco use not only cause bad breath, but they can also create oral cancers, stain teeth and irritate your gums. Consider a tobacco-free lifestyle to reduce the negative effects.

Dental issues. Bad breath can be caused by dental issues such as gum disease or cavities. Crowded teeth or ill-fitting dental appliances can also cause bad breath. See your dentist to rule out any oral care issues as a culprit.

Bacteria. Without proper brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, bacteria is not being removed from your mouth. The build-up of these sticky bacteria can lead to bad breath. By following the ADA recommendation of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and routine visits to the dentist, you can keep bacteria in check.

Dry mouth. Lack of saliva creates dry mouth, which may be a side effect of medications, smoking, or mouth breathing or it could be a symptom of an underlying health concern. Talk to your dentist about dry mouth for the best remedies for both dry mouth and resulting bad breath.

Disease. Sinus infections, tonsillitis, respiratory issues and even diabetes can result in bad breath. Your doctor may prescribe medication for these conditions which may make a dry mouth, and resulting bad breath worse. Talk to your doctor if your side effects are problematic.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Best and Worst Foods for Healthy Children's Teeth

Best Foods for Healthy Teeth

An apple a day could keep the cavities away! Chewing apples and other crunchy, high-fiber fruits can scrub away plaque from teeth. As a bonus, this fruit is full of vitamins and minerals and makes an easy snack.

Water with Fluoride
Drinking water with fluoride is essential for the health of your child’s teeth as early as birth. Almost all drinking water contains fluoride, but some bottled varieties do not. It is always a good idea to check to make sure.

Eggs are an excellent source of calcium, protein, and vitamin D, which are important minerals for oral health. Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium, which builds and maintains strong, healthy teeth.

Milk, Cheese, and Yogurt
Milk, cheese, and yogurt are rich in calcium, casein, and phosphorus, which can protect tooth enamel. The nutrients in milk products can neutralize some of the acid produced by plaque bacteria.

Celery and Carrots
Just like apples, these crunchy vegetables contain a lot of water and require a lot of chewing which can scrub tooth surfaces. The water and fiber in these vegetables balance the sugars and help clean teeth. Also, celery has fibrous strands, making this vegetable nature’s floss!

Broccoli and Green Leafy Vegetables
Thanks to their high level of vitamins and minerals, broccoli and green leafy vegetables can provide big benefits for oral health. The folic acid found in leafy greens such as spinach and kale is known to help improve the health of teeth and gums.

Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds also make a great, mouth-friendly snack! Acids remove tooth enamel, and foods with high amounts of calcium and phosphorus, such as almonds, peanuts and cashews, can protect teeth by replenishing those minerals.

Foods That can Cause Tooth Decay and Cavities
Sugary Drinks

It’s no secret that too much sugar is damaging to your health and can cause cavities. Organisms feed on the sugar on your teeth and turn it into acid, which destroys tooth enamel and causes decay.

The acids and sugar found in carbonated soft drinks combine to cause tooth damage. Even sugar-free diet sodas can erode enamel with the acidic content. While non-carbonated sports drinks may seem like healthy options, they are still acidic and sugary.

Citrus Fruit and Juices
Citrus fruits are a source of Vitamin C and nutrients, and they are good for you in many ways. However, grapefruit and lemon, in particular, are highly acidic and can erode tooth enamel over time.
Juices, even those that claim to be 100% fruit juice, often contain high levels of sugar which can cause tooth damage. Drinking low-fat milk and water is recommended over juice.

Chewy Candy
Eating tons of sugar is bad for tooth health, and candy is full of it. It can cause cavities and get stuck in crevices in the tooth.

Extra chewy candies like taffy and caramels stick to teeth for a long time which can dissolve tooth enamel. Candies that are chewy, sugary and acidic, like sour candies, are the most damaging. Many people choose dried fruits as a healthy snack, but many dried fruits are also sticky and contain sugar. If children do eat sugary snacks, they should brush and rinse their teeth with water to clean the tooth surfaces and gums.

Chips, Bread, and Pasta
Starches made from white flour are simple carbohydrates. They break down into simple sugars in the body which can lead to tooth decay. Eating chips for a snack is not recommended, not only because they provide no nutritional value, but also because the starch in them can adhere to teeth. 

Instead of bread and pasta made with white flour, opt for whole wheat options.

Healthy Habits to Continue During Children’s Dental Health Month

Dental health starts during infancy with your child’s first tooth. By teaching your child about healthy dental habits today, you can help prevent complicated dental conditions in the future. 

1. Regular Dentist Visits
It is recommended that children be taken to a pediatric dentist at one year old or 6 months after the first tooth comes in, whichever comes first. Children should have fluoride applications at the dentist every six months.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 20% of children between the ages of two and 19 have cavities that have not been treated. Regular dentist visits, combined with a healthy diet, can lower your child’s chance of an undiagnosed cavity.
It is also important that children be weaned off bottle feeding by 12 months of age if possible to prevent “bottle rot.” Bottle rot occurs when a baby’s teeth start to decay due to long-term exposure to liquids containing sugar.

2. Flossing
Along with eating the right foods, it’s important to floss at least once per day. Flossing removes plaque from the areas between your teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach.
Once a child’s teeth start to fit tightly together, usually between the ages of 2 and 6, parents should begin to get their children into the habit of flossing daily. Children usually develop the dexterity and ability to floss on their own around the age of 10.

3. Brushing Teeth
The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth at least twice per day to remove plaque. Your baby’s teeth need to be wiped clean after bottle feeding or nursing. Parents should use an infant toothbrush with a rice-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste starting at age 1. Children can increase fluoride toothpaste use between the ages of 3 to 5.
Trust Your Child’s Dental Health to UnityPoint Health

This Children’s Dental Health Month, teach your child about the importance of healthy teeth and gums. Swap out the bad foods in your child’s diet for tooth-friendly options for healthy, pearly whites.

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers

Composite vs. Porcelain Veneers – Choosing the Right Material Choosing to have dental veneers placed is the first step to improving...