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All About Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

Over the last 40 years, giant steps have been made in cosmetic dentistry technology. Ranging from whitening your teeth to replacing missing teeth with natural and realistic-looking bridges, dentures, and implants, the list of cosmetic dental procedures continues to grow. Enhancing your smile boosts your self-confidence greatly. West Meade Dental would like to share with you an overview of the different types of cosmetic dentistry with information from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).

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Teeth Whitening

Most everyone’s teeth can endure a whitening procedure. In an external whitening procedure, teeth are bleached by direct contact with a commonly-used, safe whitening agent. This procedure takes place either in our office at West Meade Dental or your own home.

Dentures

Considered to be a reliable tooth replacement method for years, dentures can have issues from resting directly on the teeth and gums, which can result in bone loss, tooth decay, and periodontal disease. With advancements being made in dentures over the years, there is a new and improved version of dentures now. Overdentures are a combination of traditional dentures and the newer dental implants.

Dental Implants

Replacing the roots of lost teeth, a dental implant is attached to a crown to replace a missing tooth or multiple teeth. Dental implants help to maintain the bone structure of the adjacent teeth, which increases their lifespan. Considered to be a permanent procedure, dental implants are expected to last years and years. The best choice for replacing missing teeth, dental implants look so much like natural teeth that you will never be able to tell the difference.

Porcelain Veneers

Made from porcelain, veneers cover the front part of a tooth and leave the rest of the tooth as is. If your teeth are healthy, we recommend porcelain veneers to our patients who want to change the color or size of their teeth. We also recommend using veneers to fill in gaps and spaces between teeth. Some cosmetic dentists use veneers made from resin, but we prefer porcelain because it has excellent stain-resistant properties and it is thin yet very strong and durable.

Porcelain Bridges and Crowns

Another option for replacing missing teeth, porcelain bridges are designed to be natural in fit and appearance to restore your smile to its former beauty. Porcelain crowns can improve the appearance of your teeth and your smile, but unlike veneers, crowns surround the entire tooth in porcelain. Crowns are also thicker and most often used when a tooth has begun to decay.

Fillings

Fillings have significantly improved over the years. Now we use high density composite resins or porcelain to replace tooth structure lost to decay. Less repair work is needed for these new fillings, both immediately and in the future. It is almost impossible to tell if someone has a filling because the materials are so natural in appearance.

Have any questions about the cosmetic dentistry procedures offered by West Meade Dental? Contact us to schedule a cosmetic dentistry consultation to get started on improving your smile.

All About Porcelain Veneers

Do you have relatively healthy teeth, but they are chipped or broken, have shifted or moved and made a space in your smile, or look dirty and yellowed? You may be a perfect candidate for porcelain veneers, which are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. These veneers provide strength and resiliency just like natural tooth enamel, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) [http://www.aacd.com/index.php?module=cms&page=574]. At West Meade Dental, we can make your smile look better than it has ever looked with porcelain veneers. We would like to share with you more information from the AACD about this option.

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What happens during a veneers consultation at West Meade Dental?

When you come in for your visit, Dr. Shelley A. Sigur will start with an analysis of your smile to see exactly what she will need to do to get the smile you want. She will also explain to you what the entire porcelain veneers process will be like for you. She can even show you a picture of what your new smile will look like with cosmetic imaging.

What is the typical porcelain veneers procedure like?

Before Dr. Sigur can apply the adhesive layer and the thin strips of porcelain to your tooth, a very small amount of your original tooth enamel has to be removed so your veneers will fit properly within your mouth. We also have to do this step to best restore natural tooth function while creating an even better appearance than the original tooth. The bond between the original tooth and porcelain veneer is crucial because this bond must be strong for correct veneer function. Dr. Sigur will then place light-sensitive resin between the original tooth and the layer of porcelain and then harden it with a special curing light.

What are the benefits of porcelain veneers?

This cosmetic dental treatment has several strong points, including the following:

— realistic appearance, feel, and function
Porcelain veneers are individually sculpted and custom-made to each individual tooth, and it is close to impossible to tell the difference between a veneer and a natural tooth. Even better, veneers are made of high-tech materials that resist coffee, tea, and cigarette smoke stains.

— minimal alteration to your natural teeth
In order for your veneers to properly fit, not much is needed to do to your original teeth besides the removal of a tiny bit of original teeth enamel. Your original teeth stay mostly intact in the veneers process as compared to a crown procedure.

— long-term white teeth
As previously mentioned, porcelain veneers are stain-resistant. Veneers can also whiten even the darkest stained teeth.

How do I maintain my porcelain veneers?

Very simply as you just treat them like your natural teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential in keeping your veneers looking their best.

Interested in fixing your smile with porcelain veneers? Contact West Meade Dental to schedule a veneers consultation with us.

Ways to Improve the Look of Your Teeth

When people hear cosmetic surgery they often think of the stars that have additions in some places, and removal in others.  However, when it comes to your teeth you can have all kinds of additional enhancements to make your smile even more straight and white.  The trained professionals at West Meade Dental can answer any of the questions you may have and explain which procedures would benefit you the most.

You can regain confidence in your teeth. It is one way to improve your well-being.

You can regain confidence in your teeth. It is one way to improve your well-being.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are helpful to both the appearance of your teeth, but also the health.  A crown is similar to a cap and will straighten and align the tooth.  However, it will also reinforce a weak tooth.  A bridge is usually suggested when you are have teeth missing.  This will keep the remaining teeth from shifting.  They will also help protect from diseases that are caused by missing teeth.

Teeth Whitening

Over a period of time, our pearly white teeth will become discolored.  The more we use our teeth, the easier it is for them to lose their color from loss of enamel.  People will then have their teeth whitened to remove some of the stains and debris that are present.  It is important to know the risks of teeth whitening.  Some patients may experience sensitivity, gum irritation, and technicolor teeth.  This is why you should always check with a dentist before using any product you are unfamiliar with.

Implants

When you have a tooth missing, your dentist might also recommend you having an implant.  It looks more natural and functions like an original tooth, all without harming other teeth around it.  These implants actually grow to your jaw to better protect the bone.  To place the implant, they will need to place a small screw into your jaw.  Over the next few months, the implant and the bone will grow together.  Some implants will require a second step to install an extension.  Some patients are able to have different methods where multiple steps are unnecessary.  Your dentist will be able to advise you on which procedure is best for you.

Dentures

It is very important that dentures are kept clean and well protected.  You should clean your dentures everyday with a brush designed for dentures, and no toothpaste as it can harm the dentures.  Also, you can buy special cleaners for soaking.  Since dentures are fragile you should always handle with care to prevent them from breaking.  Lastly, remove them from your mouth every night to give your gums time to breathe.  For more info on denture care, click here.

 

 

The Damage Smoking Can Do

We don’t need to tell you that smoking is bad for your health. But since we help current and former smokers deal with the damage smoking causes to their teeth on a daily basis at West Meade Dental, we figure it’s worth talking about some of the specific dental problems that come along with cigarettes.

Smoking can damage your beautiful smile and cause serious health problems.

Smoking can damage your beautiful smile and cause serious health problems.

How Smoking Affects Dental Health

The Nicotine and tar in cigarettes each take their toll on teeth. Tar contributes considerably to the yellow and brown staining many smokers complain about. Nicotine brings along far more serious issues too.

Nicotine directly affects the blood vessels in your mouth, minimizing the blood flow to your gums and the bone that supports your teeth. That does two particularly bad things: It limits your body’s ability to fight infection there, and hides the response to infection, so you’re potentially unaware of the problem until it gets more serious. Nicotine also affects your saliva, minimizing its ability to dull acids that come from the foods we eat. Add that all up, and you have the recipe for serious tooth trouble.

Let’s Talk About Gum (Or Periodontal) Disease

You’ve likely heard the term “gum disease” plenty of times through the years, from your dentist or in mouthwash and toothpaste commercials. But here are some specifics about gum disease (or periodontal disease) that are well worth knowing about, particularly if you’re a smoker.

– If you’re diagnosed with periodontal disease, it means that you have an infection in your gum tissue and/or the bones supporting your teeth. And like any infection, if it isn’t dealt with, it’ll spread and get worse.

– Symptoms can include persistent bad breath, red and swollen gums, receding or bleeding gums, even loose or lost teeth.

– In its milder form (Gingivitus), the infection is more confined to the tissue in your gums, and since sufferers usually don’t experience pain, it’s common that it goes unchecked and untreated. With more serious periodontal disease, or Periodontitis, the bone that holds your teeth can be affected, leading to tooth loss.

– You’re more likely to have periodontal disease if you smoke. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a little over eight percent of adults ages 20 to 64 surveyed were periodontal disease sufferers. If you’re looking at current smokers, the percentage is almost twice as high.

What West Meade Dental Can Do To Help

Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your dental health. If you’re dealing with damage brought on by smoking, there are some things West Meade Dental can do to help you.

Professional Cleaning
During a cleaning, we can remove plaque and tartar buildup to limit the likelihood of gum separation and gum disease.

Teeth Whitening and Porcelain Veneers
Tooth yellowing or discoloration from smoking doesn’t have to be permanent. In a lot of cases, we can whiten your smile considerably and make you feel more comfortable and more confident with our professional teeth whitening services. More significantly stained teeth that are still relatively healthy could benefit from porcelain veneers, which attach to the front of your teeth to bring a bright new appearance.

Other Cosmetic Dentistry
If you’ve lost teeth due to gum disease or other issues, West Meade Dental can bring your smile back. We specialize in porcelain crowns and bridges, implants and full or partial dentures, and we can tell you what approach will work best for your needs.

If you have any questions about the effects of smoking on dental health, don’t hesitate to call West Meade Dental – we’re always glad to help.

Brighten Your Smile

Time to Flash That Radiant White Smile

Do you dream of having perfectly white and sparkling teeth? We all want that radiant smile that can truly change the mood of every individual that catches a glimpse of it. But the truth is, no one can ever have white teeth on their own. There are many things that we put in our mouths that causes the discoloration of our teeth—something we cannot avoid. The only way we can have those pearl-like teeth is if we seek the assistance of cosmetic dentists; experts at making our teeth white. That’s what our mission is here at West Meade Dental Services. We offer the best technology for you to confidently flash that oh-so-beautiful pearly whites.

There are many teeth whitening over-the-counter products...but none of them work as effectively as the process we use at West Meade Dental.

There are many teeth whitening over-the-counter products…but none of them work as effectively as the process we use at West Meade Dental.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Basically, teeth whitening involves bleaching your teeth to make them lighter. It is impossible to do star-bright white teeth but it’s absolutely possible to brighten it up to several shades.

Because of the technology available today, there are whitening kits that are a Do-It-Yourself thing which look very convincing and may leave you thinking that they truly work. Let me tell you this before any advertisement will fool you—it will not work. Making teeth seem lighter uses a special kind of equipment only licensed dentists, like us, can use. Anything else is ineffective, useless and a waste of your hard-earned money. There are also beauty salons that perform teeth whitening methods but this is actually illegal.

The Procedure

This procedure can be long-term and can also be a one-time thing. In most cases, you will have a number of appointments with the dentist for months at a time. What we usually do for your first meet-up is to check your teeth if they are in good condition for teeth whitening right away. Some need to go through other dental procedures because of a defect on the tooth or the gums. In any case, we have to make sure that your teeth are in excellent condition. Then, we will make an impression of your teeth and give you bleaching gel that you can take home and which you can apply yourself (because it needs to stay there for hours at a time for the procedure to become effective)

On the other hand, we also offer laser teeth whitening, commonly known as power whitening. This just usually takes an hour. What happens in this procedure is that we apply a stronger version of bleaching gel, apply it on your teeth then followed by our laser equipment to activate the solution in your teeth.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call and we can talk about your dental care needs especially your desire of getting beautifully white teeth. Here at West Meade Dental Services, we offer only the best for you.

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