The Cosmetic dentists at the Medical Center Dental Group in Houston are some of the world’s best doctors. They are equally concerned about the emotions of their patients as they are concerned about their medical needs. Our cosmetic dentists want every person to feel comfortable while undergoing treatment at the center. Pain is something we strive to eliminate, and expectations are things we aim to exceed. Our professionals have spent years training in both general dentistry and the advanced procedures and technology of cosmetic dentistry. Two have served as dentists in the US Navy, and all have studied special procedures and treatments such as Advanced Anterior Aesthetics, Comprehensive Aesthetic Reconstruction, Practical Occlusion in the Progressive Practice, and Neuromuscular Dentistry at the Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Procedures.
In addition to their dedication to the care and comfort of their patients and ongoing pursuit of more advanced medical knowledge, our cosmetic dentists also use some of the most advanced technology found anywhere in the world of dentistry. Dental examinations are performed with an intra-oral camera that allows the dentist to look anywhere inside the mouth without any pain or discomfort to the patient. The camera sits on the end of a flexible tube that can look anywhere in the mouth, examining teeth up close and rendering high-resolution images of enamel and gums on a full color monitor. Patients much prefer this to the old-fashioned mouth mirror that the family dentist once used to poke around the mouth and cheeks with.
An even more advanced tool at their disposal is the ultra-sophisticated ND: YAG laser which is used to perform laser assisted new attachment procedure (LANAP). This new form of treatment promises to replace periodontal surgery with a healthier, precision method of treating gum disease. Rather than cutting away diseased tissue with a knife and damaging surrounding healthy tissue in the process, the laser removes only the diseased tissue. No anesthetic is needed, and long-term recovery is statistically higher even in the more severe cases of periodontal disease.
Cosmetic dentists of Houston also use more advanced materials than most general practices employ. For example, we do not use metal amalgams to fill teeth. Metal simply does not belong in a human mouth and will often cause problems later on down the line when the tooth ages. Cosmetic dental bonding is used instead of metal amalgams to provide a more bio-friendly means of filling teeth, and to provide a more cosmetic solution that more accurately mimics the color of teeth. Metal braces are not used in our practice, either. Instead, Invisalign cosmetic dental braces are used instead to unobtrusively correct teeth alignment problems painlessly and discreetly a little bit at a time. People with embarrassing and inefficient dentures can have them replaced with dental implants.
Labels: cosmetic dentists Houston, dental bonding, dental imlplants, LANAP, ND: YAG laser
Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common of the three forms of sleep apnea. Apnea, in Greek, literally means without breath. OSA can strike anyone, but the most frequent suffers are individuals between the ages of 45-65. It is caused by an obstruction in the air passageway. The throat consists of very soft tissue that can collapse when the body is relaxed during sleep. Obesity in the throat area can often be a contributing factor here because of the increased pressure on the trachea. Many people who suffer from this condition due struggle with weight problems, although this is not universal, and there is no absolute proof that obesity alone is the ultimate cause of the disorder.The most common type of sleep apnea is known as obstructive sleep apnea, so named for the obstruction of the air passage that causes a temporary cessation of breathing. The soft tissues in the throat become too relaxed and collapse, obstructing the flow of air. This is often due to obesity in the patient, although not all sufferers of the disorder are obese per se. Most people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are 45-65 years of age, with many of them experiencing symptoms for many years before they realize that they have OSA.There are several symptoms of OSA, some occurring during daylight hours, and others occurring at night. The most noticeable daytime symptom is excessive drowsiness. No matter how long the person sleeps, he or she never feels truly rested in the morning, and may experience an impairment of motor skills on top of a general feeling of lethargy. The person may also be highly irritable at times, and experience wild swings in mood. Nighttime symptoms include loud snoring, restless sleep, and waking up at odd hours. Many people dismiss the drowsiness they are feeling as being the result of stress or overexertion. Other symptoms such as waking up at weird hours, or snoring very loudly, may not be consistent enough to warrant attention. Few immediately suspect they have obstructive sleep apnea until they mention one or more of the symptoms to a doctor, who then recommends they get tested for the disorder at a special sleep disorder test center. Centers like this specialize in diagnosing the type of sleep apnea a person has, and the severity of the condition. Severe obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by more than 30 missed breaths per hour. Moderate OSA is characterized by anywhere from 15 to 30 breaths being missed, and mild cases are characterized by 5-15 missed breaths.The most common treatment prescribed for obstructive sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, or CPAP, machine. This machine has a mask that covers and seals the mouth and nose of the patient, blowing compressed air into the airway and keeping it open. It is a highly effective device, but has its drawbacks for many patients who find the mask too uncomfortable. New alternatives to CPAP are being developed that offer more comfortable treatment options for people suffering from mild and moderate cases of OSA.One of these options is a new device known as the SomnoDent MAS. ™ This device works like a mouth guard, fitting over the upper and lower teeth and pushing the lower jaw forward just enough to put tension on the trachea. This tension in turn keeps the airway open and allows the patient to breathe normally. This device is comfortable, discreet, and custom-made to the mouth of the patient. It has been clinically proven to work just as well as CPAP in all but the more severe cases of the disorder. For more information on this exciting new treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, visit our main website for more information available through the following links:Sleep DisordersSleep Apnea Treatment OptionsSleep Apnea Oral AppliancesObstructive Sleep Apnea SurgeryIf you think you might have sleep apnea, call our office toll free at 1-888-790-0309 for a referral to a sleep disorder test center. We are located in the Medical Center in Houston, TX and work with patients from all over the Houston area, including The Woodlands, Magnolia, Conroe, Spring, and Tomball.
Labels: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep apnea, SomnoDent MAS
As each year rolls around, cosmetic dental treatments become more advanced, and more available to the average person. What was once a highly specialized science available only in Elite circles is now becoming the new mainstream for dentistry itself. Cosmetic dentistry treats the whole person, not just the teeth, with the beauty of a reconstructed smile that boosts confidence and improves the quality of life. Cosmetic dental treatment options also offer a greater peace of mind than traditional, more primitive forms of dentistry. Many of the newer procedures today are virtually painless—even comfortable in their own way—for the typical person to experience.
Everyone knows about the aesthetic value of cosmetic dental treatments. What many people do not know, however, is that these treatments offer equivalent medical value to the patient as well. The forces that shape the way a tooth works also shape the way it works, and how long it lasts. A good example of this is tooth enamel. This outer, protective layer of the tooth is the part you see in the mirror every morning. In its ideal condition, it should be a pearly white with a slightly translucent surface. However, after many years of eating processed food, drinking coffee, and smoking cigarettes, the teeth turn yellow or even brown from the stains they pick up. Left untreated, the stained enamel loses its strength and resiliency. The tooth is then more vulnerable to decay or cracking as a result.
A simple, painless cosmetic dental treatment like teeth whitening can reverse this. By bleaching the teeth and removing these stains, it can restore the enamel of your teeth to optimum condition. This restores strength and longevity to the life of your teeth and proactively helps prevent more serious problems like gum disease from developing.
Other cosmetic dental treatments can be used to repair teeth that have already been damaged. A tooth with a cavity, for example, can be repaired with cosmetic dental bonding. This procedure uses a composite resin that look like tooth enamel. It is much friendlier than are metal fillings to the surfaces of teeth and the human mouth in general. Teeth that have pits and hair line cracks can be restored with porcelain veneers, and broken teeth can be capped with porcelain crowns that create an entirely new chewing surface that is both hard and virtually indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel.
There is even a cosmetic dental treatment for people who have lost some, or even all, of their teeth—dental implants. Unlike crude and embarrassing dentures, dental implants are actually attached to the bone of the jaw. These implants look and work just like natural teeth, even to the point that many patients at times forget they have implants.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center in the Houston Medical District has an entire repertoire of treatment options and payment plans available for the patient who needs top-quality dental care. Serving all Houston neighborhoods including River Oaks, Memorial, West University, Upper Kirby, and Rice Village, The Medical Center Dental Group is here to answer your questions and exceed your expectations.
For more information read our articles on the following topics:
Cosmetic Dental Implants
Cosmetic Dental Braces. Cosmetic
Cosmetic Dental Veneers.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
If you are overdue for a checkup or need dental care of any kind, call us now toll free at 1-888-790-0309 to schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic teeth whitening
I thought cosmetic dental care was only for the rich and famous.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Most insurance plans cover cosmetic dental care, and even if yours does not, the Medical Center Dental Group has a number of financial payment options that can make even the most advance treatments we offer affordable. New technologies have made these treatments virtually painless, and in many cases, convenient for the work schedules of most professionals. Cosmetic dental care specialists here at our center dedicate themselves to improving the quality of the human smile in every respect. We have procedures for restoring the color of teeth, transforming them from yellow, or even brown, to a white that was even brighter than before. We have solutions for chipped and cracked teeth that look good, and feel good, to the mouth. We even have dental implants for missing teeth that can completely rebuild a smile that was previously lost to tooth decay.
Is cosmetic dental care as good as general dental care when it comes to medical benefit?
Yes. In fact, cosmetic dentists must first graduate from dental school before pursuing specialty training in cosmetic dental care. Standard treatments like root canals and fillings can be obtained at our center, along with more advanced treatments like laser periodontal therapy. The advantage of coming to our center is twofold. For one thing, our techniques for filling teeth are much more sophisticated than the silver amalgam fillings used by other dentists. Secondly, many procedures such as LANAP are much more comfortable—or even completely painless altogether—compared to the drilling and surgery of general dentistry.
Of course, all procedures maintain the aesthetic purpose of our discipline at the same time. While looking after the health of the patient, we also improve his or her appearance to create lasting results, a winning smile, and improved self-confidence. In this sense, cosmetic dental care treats the whole person, not just the teeth.
For how long do the results of cosmetic dental care last?
That depends on the treatment involved, and on the behavior of the patient. We hesitate to say that any procedure produces permanent results because permanence is something that no doctor likes to make a claim to. We will say that many of our dental implants and crowns have lasted for the life of the patient, and that dental bonding has a much greater longevity than amalgam fillings. In the case of tooth whitening, much depends on the behavior of the patient afterwards. Continued use of caffeine and tobacco will stain the teeth all over again, and probably send the patient back to our office in six months. A change in diet and habits, on the other hand, can prolong the results of teeth whitening for many years.
As new technology continues to emerge, new cosmetic dental care techniques and procedures are developed that continue to offer each patient a winning smile and a bright future. For more information on the many procedures currently available, visit the following links on our main website:
Cosmetic DentistsCosmetic Dental ProceduresCosmetic Dental implantsLANAP
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center, located in the Medical Center in Houston, Texas, serves all of Houston and many surrounding areas including Sugar Land, Rosenberg, Richmond, Katy, Waller, and Spring. Call us toll free at 1-888-790-0309 to set up an appointment today.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental braces, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic dental veneers
Cosmetic dental work is both a highly specialized form of dentistry and a form of art. Its goal is to make teeth more attractive, stronger, and healthier. Often, the end result is a smile that looks even better than the original, and indistinguishable from what Nature initially gave the patient.
Cosmetic Teeth Whitening
When people require cosmetic dental work on the color of teeth themselves, cosmetic teeth whitening is the most routine treatment performed. Normal eating and drinking habits can discolor teeth over time. Unhealthy use of coffee and cigarettes can further yellow, or even brown, the color of teeth. Cosmetic tooth whitening is a simple bleaching procedure that corrects this. It takes only two office visits, scheduled two weeks apart. During the interim time, the patient performs a 20-minute at-home bleaching treatment applied through a special tray the dentist makes for him or her.
General dentistry has relied on silver amalgam fillings for years. These fillings are crude and eventually wear out. More sophisticated and effective results can be achieved with cosmetic dental bonding. This form of cosmetic dental work uses a composite resin that is specially mixed to compliment the color of teeth. It normally takes only one session to apply the bonding agent, unless other conditions like periodontal disease exist and have to be treated first.
Metal braces are unattractive and at times very painful to the patient. New advances in dentistry have led to the development of Invisalign braces, so called because they are nearly invisible to the naked eye. These medical grade plastic aligners move teeth a little at a time every week. Invisalign cosmetic dental work is individualized to each particular patient in a step by step procedure that uses a new set of aligners made for each phase of the treatment. The length of the treatment depends on the degree of correction required, and is normally planned through a virtual computer program that details the entire process from start to finish.
LANAP Laser assisted new attachment procedure is a revolutionary new form of cosmetic dental work that holds the promise of replacing surgical treatment of advanced periodontal disease. Virtually pain free, it is performed without anesthetic and uses such precision technology that only diseased tissue is removed from the gum, leaving the healthy tissue surrounding it intact.
Dental Veneers A highly aesthetic form of cosmetic dental work, porcelain veneers cover the damage portions of teeth, covering tiny pits, chips, and holes in the surface of the enamel. Each veneer is shaped to fit the surface of the individual tooth, providing both a pleasant appearance and a reliable chewing surface. Sometimes, they are also used to treat major cases of tooth staining as well as minor alignment problems.
Cosmetic dental crowns cover the entire surface of a damaged tooth, and work to create an entirely new surface that looks identical to natural teeth and provide a reliable chewing surface. Porcelain is both hard and natural looking, having the same translucent quality seen in tooth enamel.
Implant dentistry is a highly specialized form of cosmetic dental work used to replace missing teeth. A Tivolloy (titanium-based alloy) base is implanted into the bone of the jaw, acting as an artificial tooth root. The base is then covered with a porcelain crown, which creates a permanent artificial tooth anchored to the jaw.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center operates out of the Medical Center in Houston, Texas as serves the surrounding communities of Pasadena, TX, Laporte, Texas, Crosby, TX, and Humble, Texas. If you need any type of dental work, cosmetic or general, call us today and schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to intermittently stop breathing while asleep. Consequences of the disorder can range from the mild to the severe, depending on the severity and type of sleep apnea the person suffers from. Symptoms of the disorder can range from loud snoring, restless sleep, chronic daytime fatigue (even after several hours of sleep), heart trouble, and possible stroke. When a person experiences one or more of these symptoms and expects that he or she has the syndrome, it is vitally important to seek out a medical diagnosis and treatment.
The word apnea literally means without breath, and refers to the cessation of breathing that characterizes the disorder. Periods of cessation can last as long as 10 seconds. This deprives the brain of oxygen and accounts for much of the feeling of fatigue patients experience during waking hours.
There are two types of sleep apnea: central, and obstructive. The word apnea literally means without breath. Central sleep apnea originates in the brain. It is caused by a failure to send the necessary signal to the muscles responsible for breathing. A number of causes can account for this, including underdeveloped neurons in children with the CSA, and side effects of certain medications. Seizures, neuromuscular disorders, and head injuries can also cause CSA.
Obstructive sleep apnea originates in the trachea. Due to any number of factors ranging from age to obesity, the throat muscles can collapse the breathing passage temporarily and obstruct airflow. OSA is prevalent among 17% of the male and female middle-aged populations. Some studies have linked its occurrence to smoking and alcohol use as well. This linkage, combined with the fact that obstructed airflow can further complicate heart problems and the possibility of stroke, means that OSA should be taken seriously and proactively treated with the best possible care.
Both central and obstructive sleep apnea can be treated effectively, allowing the patient to experience a good night’s rest and a productive work day during waking hours. Consistency is the key to managing the disorder. Some patients find certain treatment options more comfortable than others, and are more likely to be compliant with treatments they are comfortable with.
One treatment that dentists and doctors prescribe to sleep apnea patients is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. The CPAP machine has a mask which the dentists fit to the patient’s face. The machine is custom-set to the level of pressure the individual needs to keep the airway open. During the night, the CPAP device regulates the flow of air into the trachea, preventing it from collapsing, and keeping the flow of oxygen to the brain constant.
Some people, however, do not like wearing a CPAP mask. They find it cumbersome, painful, and often complain that when they first wake up in the morning, it is difficult to start breathing on their own again. So long as the patient is suffering from only mild or moderate sleep apnea, an alternative treatment method exists that can produce the same results as a CPAP machine. This device is the SomnoDent MAS. ™ This oral device is custom-made by the dentist to fit over the upper and lower jaws of the patient like a mouth guard. Its special design forces the lower jaw just ever so slightly forward. This creates enough tension in the throat muscles to prevent collapse, and normal breathing is able to occur.To read more information on sleep apnea, visit the following links.Obstructive Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea InformationCauses of Sleep ApneaSleep Apnea InformationSleep Apnea SymptomsCall the Cosmetic Dentistry Center today at 713.795.5905 to get more information on SomonoDent MAS (TM) . See if this exciting new treatment is what you need to sleep better, and breathe better.
Labels: CPAP, mouth guard, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep apnea, SomnoDent MAS
Thanks to new treatments and technology, there are now more cosmetic dental procedures available to patients than ever before. The good news is that regardless of how long a particular procedure may take, or how complex the process may actually be, cosmetic dentistry has evolved to such a level of precision that there is little, if any, discomfort involved in any of these treatments. That means you should call and schedule an appointment if you have been putting off going to the dentist out of fear of pain. Skillful hands can ensure a winning—and pain free smile—here at the Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, TX.
Some of these procedures are elementary and simple, while others require more precision, time, and complexity.
Cosmetic dental bonding, for example, is a very simple process used repair chipped or discolored teeth with a special composite resin that has been custom-mixed to produce the desired color correction in the smile of the patient. Small cracks and pocks often develop in teeth over many years of chewing. The dentist applies an extremely mild acidic solution to the teeth enamel, which etches tiny, microscopic lines in tooth surfaces. The bonding agent is then applied, which instantly adheres to the etched tooth enamel, fusing to its surface. A special light is then used to harden and set the bonding, creating a smooth, restored surface. Patients often remark that this is the most painless experience they could ever hope to have in a dental chair.
Teeth not only become pocked and cracked, but they also become severely discolored for any number of reasons. Drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes never helps tooth color. Certain prescription medications as well can turn teeth a yellowish color. There are two cosmetic dental procedures used to reverse discoloration and restore a white, healthy smile. One is cosmetic tooth whitening, and the other is cosmetic dental veneers.
Tooth whitening is performed using cosmetic dental bleach that is applied in two office visits normally spaced two weeks apart. In the interim time between visits, the patient uses a special tray to apply similar bleach at home. Sensodyne toothpaste is also recommended as an adjunct to this procedure. The longevity of results varies from patient to patient, depending on what lifestyle choices the patient makes to alter detrimental eating and drinking behaviors.
Another popular cosmetic dental procedure for tooth whitening is the use of porcelain veneers. Veneers overlay the tooth enamel and are very strong and stain resistant. Even if a person continues to drink coffee or smoke, veneers tend to maintain their color. Usually veneers are not applied, however, merely for correcting coloration problems. Like dental bonding, one of their main benefits is to correct pitting and chipping of teeth, and in some cases, minor alignment problems that are noticeable, but not severe enough to justify orthodontic treatments.
But what if a tooth suffers more damage than simple chipping? What if a piece of the tooth breaks off, or if the tooth cracks severely? The most common cosmetic dental procedure is the use of a dental crown. A crown, like a veneer, is made from porcelain, and custom-molded to mimic the original tooth. It fits over the damaged tooth like a cap, which is why crowns in general dentistry are often referred to as caps.
For teeth that have been knocked out, or that have decayed to the point that they have to be extracted for the health of the patient, dental implants offer a much more attractive alternative to dentures. Dental implantation is the most complex of all cosmetic dental procedures and is generally used only as a last resort. However, when done by a trained specialist who knows what he or she is doing, the new implant will look, feel, and function as an indistinguishable replacement for the original. Dental implants consist of a titanium alloy base that acts like a tooth root embedded in the bone, an abutment that supports a crown, and a porcelain crown that provides an attractive appearance and reliable chewing surface. Some of our patients often comment that they sometimes forget they have implants because these artificial teeth work often feel just like the ones they were born with.
Cosmetic dental procedures like the ones we have looked at today require years of special training. Be sure to read the biographies of our resident dentists, Dr. Dale Brandt, Dr. Charles Campbell, and Dr. Elizabeth O’Sullivan-Winslow. There, you will find all the assurance you need to see how the staff at the Medical Center Dental Group has everything you need to give you a beautiful, confident, healthy, and truly winning smile.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic tooth whitening
here are Many Cosmetic Teeth Procedures Your Dentist Can Perform to Restore Your Smile. This is because dentistry can be a science as much as it is an art. The essence of cosmetic dentistry, after all, is the restoration of a beautiful smile. Many cases are simple, and easy to treat with basic procedures. Others, however, are much more complex, and present such a challenge that only the most advanced cosmetic teeth procedures can address. Fortunately for patients these days, science has become as diversified and specialized as art. Cosmetic dentists in our society now have access to a wide variety of technology that will allow them to repair virtually any problem they encounter with any number of sophisticated cosmetic teeth procedures.
Tooth Whitening is one of the more basic forms of cosmetic teeth procedures that involves whitening the teeth with special bleach that is made permanent and sealed by a high intensity light. It is normally the first course of action a cosmetic dentist recommends for moderate or moderately heavy tooth discoloration. Very severe cases of discoloration, however, often need more aggressive cosmetic teeth procedures are needed.
If stains are too severe for bleaching to remove, it is sometimes better to overlay the tooth with a hard, non-permeable substance cosmetically attractive and impervious to further discoloration. Porcelain just such a substance, and features a remarkable appearance that is very similar to the natural translucence of tooth enamel. Once applied; dental veneers will last for years, and never stain or discolor themselves.
Perhaps the simplest and most painless cosmetic tooth procedures that dentists perform are cosmetic dental bonding. This procedure is performed with a composite that is either customized to the color of exiting teeth, or whitened to improve their appearance.
If severe tooth decay goes untreated for too long, it can destroy more than 50 percent of a tooth to the point that it cannot be salvaged. This is especially true if decay breaks into the nerve chamber and begins killing the root itself. Cosmetic dentists avoid the patchwork procedures silver amalgam fillings that have since become outdated and proven insufficient. Instead, they remove the diseased portion of the tooth and cap it with a dental crown. Unlike a veneer is the crown is made to cover the cover the entire tooth, acting like a cap over its exterior surface.
In those unfortunate cases where a tooth cannot be saved, and it has to be extracted, there is still a cosmetic that can save the smile procedures. This solution is the dental implant. A dental implant is made from a titanium root structure attached to the jawbone, capped by a porcelain crown that looks just like a natural tooth. Implants work so well that people who get them often forget they had them to begin with.
Labels: cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic teeth whitening, cosmetic tooth procedures
Cosmetic dental implants are made from a special Titanium alloy known as Tivolloy, which is a safe and non-corrosive metal ideal for implantation in the human jawbone. These implants anchor to the bone, which in turn adapts and grows around them. This adaptive growth essential turns them into artificial tooth roots, which after 3-6 months of healing, form the base for a porcelain cosmetic dental crown. The finished product looks and functions identically to a natural tooth.
Cosmetic dental implants are the best tooth replacement option for any person in good health that has lost one or more teeth. They are much friendlier to healthy teeth and surrounding gum tissue than bridgework because they do not touch surrounding teeth. They also look much more natural than dentures and eliminate all the embarrassing and inconvenient maintenance associated with removable artificial teeth. Cosmetic dental implants have a 98 percent success rate for lower teeth, and are 91 percent successful in upper teeth. After implantation and healing, patients commonly report they feel as though they never lost a tooth.
In fact, there are some benefits that cosmetic dental implants provide that dentures and bridges simply cannot offer. For example, they simply look more natural than dentures and bridges. Because the Tivolloy root and the porcelain crown surrounding it so closely mimic natural tooth structure and function, no one looking at your smile is going to know the difference. Cosmetic dental implants are also a lot easier on your mouth than bridgework. They do not touch or alter adjacent healthy teeth, but rather blend right into the upper or lower tooth line as if they belonged there to begin with. Finally, on a purely subjective level, having a cosmetic tooth implant that looks just like the original tooth you were born with gives you a great deal more self confidence that dentures that make clicking sounds during talking and eating.
There is a surgical procedure involved in cosmetic implant dentistry, but it is taken in steps to minimize discomfort and to make the adaptive, healing process as natural and lifestyle friendly as you need it to be. The process begins with the dentist actually implanting the Tivolloy root into the jaw itself. It takes about 3 to 6 months for the bone to grow around the implant and treat it like a natural tooth root. After the implant is firmly integrated into the bone, the dentist then caps it with a top piece called an abutment that acts as a base for the porcelain crown. The porcelain crown then provides the cosmetic outer replacement for the original tooth enamel, making the implant ultimately indistinguishable from surrounding teeth.
As we have noted, almost anyone in good health can be a candidate for cosmetic dental implants. Specifically, this generally means that a person must be free from periodontal disease, and that there must be sufficient bone structure in the jaw to accept the implant(s) to begin with. Certain conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes and alcoholism are poor risks for implant success. Certain types of drug treatments as well such as immunosuppressive therapy or corticosteroids can also decrease the chance of implant success.
If you are not sure if you qualify for cosmetic dental implants, just ask one of our dentists here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. He or she can quickly any medical condition or treatment will affect the outcome of the procedure, and then recommend the best course of action from there.
Labels: cosmetic dental bridges, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures
A man named Ron, who had a number of missing teeth, came to us when he realized that tooth decay in his remaining teeth would probably cause him further tooth loss. He had no idea why so many of his teeth had failed, and he did not want to lose any more of them. He asked about a procedure he had heard about called a full mouth reconstruction. He wanted to know if it could offer a medical solution to his failing teeth as well as a cosmetic solution to his missing teeth. He also wanted to know if it would be a painful procedure. He told us that by the sound of the term, full mouth reconstruction, he could only imagine the amount of surgery and pain such a process might involve.
We quickly put his fears of pain and surgery to rest. We explained that a full mouth reconstruction was not the same as reconstructive surgery. Rebuilding bone, tissue, or muscle after a major accident is not the same as rebuilding a smile. Rather, a full mouth reconstruction involves strategic use of dental inlays, bonding, or crowns to replace missing teeth and to prevent teeth that are in the process of decaying from failing completely. In cosmetic dentistry, this procedure does not involve drilling or filling teeth with silver-mercury amalgams. All reconstructive work is done with materials that can be sculpted or molded to the existing teeth so that the original color, or whiter appearance if so desired, can result.
Cosmetic dental implants, for example, can be used to teeth that are missing from the upper and lower jaws. Cosmetic dental implants are made from a titanium base that acts like a tooth root. Once the bone adapts around the tooth, a porcelain crown is placed over it, providing an excellent mimic for the translucent whiteness of natural tooth enamel.
But what caused Ron to have such massive tooth loss in the first place? The answer lay in a seemingly unrelated medical problem. Ron had suffered for 10 years from a condition known as sleep apnea. For those same ten years, he had ground his teeth unconsciously in his sleep, and never noticed that cavities were forming in the cracks that resulted. The decay seemed to hit him all at once, and many teeth were lost in a short amount of time. While this was a very sad and severe case, the good news for Ron was that a full mouth reconstruction could still be performed that would restore his smile with an even better look than he had had before. After all, improvement of this sort is what Cosmetic Dentistry is all about.
To systematically accomplish this for Ron, we placed arches in the upper and lower arches of his mouth. We then used these implants, along with healthy natural teeth that remained, as anchor points for fixed porcelain bridges and crowns. Although the procedure took almost 7 months to complete, the Ron says it was well worth the time and money, because he looks and feels almost 20 years younger as a result of his full mouth reconstruction.
Labels: Bruxism, cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental bridges, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dentistry, Dental Implants, full mouth reconstruction
There was a man named Kevin who came to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. He was 38 years old, and complained that his teeth seemed unusually sensitive to cold. He explained that a few weeks prior to his appointment, he had been drinking iced tea, and had first noticed the condition at that time. Over the next several days, the pain became more noticeable. Now he was feeling pain just from breathing in cold air when he ran around Memorial Park in the mornings. His wife was concerned he might need a root canal, because she had heard him grinding his teeth in his sleep. Kevin was now worried that he might have an abscess forming. We reassured him this was probably not the case. His symptoms sounded much more like a case of dental abfraction than an infection of the nerve chamber.
Dental abfraction is often caused by Bruxism—the grinding of teeth in the sleep. Bruxism causes the teeth at or below the gumline to become notched. Heightened tooth sensitivity and discomfort result. Other conditions can also result, such as bicuspid drop-off, worn teeth becoming frayed around the edges, dentin becoming exposed, and gingival recession.
Mild cases of dental abfraction can be treated with topical treatments such as fluoride gel or Sensodyne toothpaste. Flexible trays, custom made to fit the mouth, can be used to apply these treatments for 20 minutes every day. More advanced cases need more aggressive forms of treatment. We did not know what Kevin would need until we examined his teeth more closely, and did a thorough check on his medical history.
When we accessed his records on our computer, we discovered that Kevin had been involved in a minor accident where he had been hit in the mouth by a falling object. He had gone to the emergency room and been treated with several stitches, but none of his teeth were knocked out. A few seemed a bit out of alignment, but nothing that made him consider cosmetic dentistry. Over time, however, biting down on teeth that were now misaligned had resulted in dental abfraction.
We discovered this when we took a close look at his mouth with our intraoral camera. This is one of the many advantages that patients get when they come to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. The intraoral camera allows us to look at things such as dental abfraction, cracked teeth, and periodontal disease on a magnified, full-color monitor. In this instance, Kevin suffered from acute gum recession and dental abfraction below the receding gum line. This had exposed the roots of both teeth, which was causing Kevin to feel such painful sensitivity to cold. However, we had caught the condition in time before the roots began to die. We were able to treat Kevin with cosmetic dental bonding, and then have him use Sensodyne toothpaste to reverse the gum recession.
Kevin has since reported that all symptoms have since disappeared. If you are currently feeling an acute sensitivity to heat or cold, it may be because you too suffer from dental abfraction. Schedule an appointment with us today. The sooner you get treatment, the quicker and painless the treatment normally is.
Labels: Bruxism, cosmetic dental bonding, dental abfraction, Sensodyne Toothpaste
Six months ago we were contacted by a patient named Sandra, who told us that one of her teeth intermittently hurt when she ate. The pain seemed to be in a certain molar toward the bottom front of her mouth. When she felt it, it was very sharp. However, it lacked the constant aching feeling most people associate with toothaches. She had looked at the tooth in the mirror several times, but found nothing wrong with it.
When Sandra came in for her appointment, we pull up her medical history on our computer. It revealed that she had been suffering from anxiety for the past few years. This caused her to grind her teeth at night without even knowing she was doing it. (In dental terminology, this grinding of teeth is known as Bruxism. We investigated further, taking a good, close look at the tooth in question by means of our intraoral camera. We found there was a very fine, but severely deep crack on the inside surface of the molar. In fact, this crack was so deep it was dangerously close to breaking into the nerve chamber. If were to happen, the way to avoid tooth extraction would have been to perform a root canal.
Cracked tooth syndrome is not the same thing as a fractured tooth. Fractures are more severe, and often clearly visible in the mirror even without dental instruments. Cracked tooth syndrome is much more subtle. It often takes very sophisticated dental instruments to detect the cracks in teeth, and since the syndrome causes such intermittent symptoms at times, many people assume that the problem is not that severe. This is not the case. If the crack in the tooth works its way all the way to the nerve cavity, then a root canal or tooth extraction becomes imminent. An early diagnosis, as we were able to provide for Sandra, can often prevent such drastic measures.
A number of things can cause cracked tooth syndrome. Repetitive chewing itself can cause very fine cracks, known as stress fractures that can develop into the syndrome. Bruxism is another cause that can crack the teeth. Trauma to the mouth often causes cracked tooth syndrome as well. Chewing on ice and hard candy is another cause for this condition.
Sandra was very fortunate. We had caught the condition quickly enough to avoid a root canal. We were able to cap the tooth with a cosmetic dental crown made to mimic her original tooth. The procedure was painless, and the resulting smile looked as good as the one she brought in. She has also reported since that day that all pain has left her mouth.
It is essential that anyone who thinks they have a cracked tooth call the Cosmetic Dentistry Center and schedule a dental appointment as soon as possible. Just because the symptoms are intermittent does not mean the condition should be ignored.
Labels: cosmetic dental crowns, cracked tooth syndrom, intermittent toothache, root canal, tooth fracture
Dental fillings are some of the most common treatments used in general dentistry.
If left to itself, tooth decay can destroy a whole tooth. Generally, a dentist will fill the tooth when 50 percent of it has been destroyed. Traditionally, silver-mercury amalgam fillings were used for this purpose, but this practice is rapidly declining. This is because silver-mercury amalgams are made from metal, and any kind of metal will expand and contract when exposed to extremes of heat or cold. This in turn puts a strain on the tooth that carries the filling, and the tooth can either crack from this strain, or become infected by bacteria that enter under the filling.
It is becoming more and more of a general consensus throughout all dental specialties that there are much better materials for filling teeth. Composite materials made from certain types of resin, for example, can now be custom-made to mimic the teeth, or they can be made to whiten the teeth.ort and strength. Whereas a filling will weaken a tooth over a period of time by as much as 50 percent, a composite filling made from resin or porcelain can actually strengthen a tooth up to 75 percent.
There are also a number of treatments that can now replace the old silver-mercury amalgams previously used in general dentistry.
Dental crowns act like caps over teeth. This is why they are sometimes called caps. Crowning a cracked tooth keeps it from fracturing completely, because it actually creates an entirely new surface area for an entirely new surface area for the tooth. Crowns in the past were sometimes made of gold. Gold is soft and clashes with the color of natural teeth. Cosmetic Dentists these days use exclusively porcelain dental crowns. This is because porcelain is very hard and nonporous, and also because porcelain mimics the translucence of natural tooth enamel.
Porcelain crowns are formed in a mold of the individual teeth of the patient, and frequently look better than the original teeth when they are installed.
Cosmetic Dental Inlays and Onlays
Like dental crowns, inlays are made from porcelain. However, they do not cover the entire tooth surface, but instead fit over the cusp (tip) of the tooth. Dentists use porcelain that is colored to mimic the existing color of teeth so the inlays will go unnoticed. To give the best possible fit, the dentist creates a temporary inlay, and then takes an impression which is used to cast the permanent, porcelain inlay. The dentist bonds it to the tooth and polishes it to create a cosmetic, natural, and healthy-looking appearance.
Onlays resemble inlays, but they are used for more substantial reconstructions. Often onlays are used to repair the damaged portion of a tooth in lieu of capping the tooth with a crown.
General dentistry practices have long relied upon the root canal as the best strategy for saving a tooth that is badly infected and whose root is dying. In the inner pulp of a tooth, all the blood vessel canals and nerves connect to the root. If this area becomes infected, the root and surrounding tissue begins to die, General dentists long ago realized that removing diseased pulp and thorough disinfection of the pulp chamber and the canals that connect it to the bloodstream and nervous system.
Even the tooth is technically dead, its normal chewing function and cosmetic appearance can be saved through this procedure. This practice is used in both cosmetic and general dentistry in order to avoid tooth extraction.
Although general dentistry abound throughout Houston and all of Texas, why not get these procedures done here at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center in the Medical Center? Not only will you get fantastic medical care, but a more attractive smile at the end of the day.
Even better, the sophisticated technology we use for many otherwise very painful general dentistry procedures (such as periodontal treatments) makes treatment here much more relaxed and painless.
Labels: cosmetic dentistry, dental crowns, dental inlays, dental onlays, general dentistry, periodontal surgery, periodontal treatment, root canals
If you are unhappy with your smile and cannot bear the thought of wearing metal braces, then consider the much better alternative of Invisalign cosmetic dental braces. This orthodontic breakthrough can give you the same results as metal brackets and wires without any visible signs of treatment in process. Invisalign is so called because it is practically invisible. It uses a series of custom made, removable appliances called aligners that are made to personally fit your teeth and correct them, little by little with no pain or discomfort, over a period of time.
There are a number of very important advantages that Invisalign cosmetic dental braces can offer you:
1. More than anything else, you can expect them to be comfortable. The aligners are out of clear, medical grade plastic that is virtually unnoticeable even at close distances.
2. You can remove your aligners to eat and brush your teeth, and then put them back in.
3. You will know have every step in the process explained to you at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center, and you will get to see forecasted results simulated with 3-D technology that will show you what your teeth will eventually look like after you have used cosmetic dental braces.
4. Your aligners will be made specifically for your teeth, and will make very subtle adjustments a few millimeters at a time so you will feel no pain or discomfort. Gone are the days when your mouth would hurt from having metal braces tightened.
We begin your treatment by diagnosing the degree of your alignment problems. Using sophisticated computer imaging software, we can then show you what needs to be corrected to give you new, natural, and uniform smile. Not only do we should you the ultimate outcome, but we also show you what the outcome of each phase of the treatment plan will look like. Then, combining this data with that of your diagnosis, we build your cosmetic dental braces just for you. Each time you come in after completion of a phase, you get a new set of aligners, each one customized to accomplish the corrective requirements of that particular stage in the plan.
You will need to wear your cosmetic dental braces for a minimum of two weeks, 22 hours per day, removing them only for eating and brushing teeth. Although the adjustments made are tiny, over time they will add up into a whole new look for your smile. Each phase, and each new set of cosmetic dental braces, brings you closer to the final outcome you desire.
Depending on the degree of correction your teeth require, your entire treatment program may last for as little as 9 months or as many as 15. Anywhere from 19-30 actual sets of cosmetic dental braces may be used in total. By this time, your teeth will look completely transformed, as if an unseen force had worked on them by magic.
If you would like to improve your smile painlessly and confidentially, then call us now at 1-888-790-0309 to schedule an appointment.
Labels: cosmetic dental braces, invisalign aligners, invisalign treatment, medical plastic dental aligners
What is cosmetic dental bonding?
It is a simple and painless procedure used to repair chipped, cracked, or irregularly shaped teeth. It has also been successfully used for patients with severely stained teeth that normal teeth whitening procedures have proven ineffective to correct. It is cheaper and less complicated than porcelain veneers, and often produces results that are equivalent in quality.
Who should consider cosmetic dental bonding?
On an objective level, anyone whose teeth have cracked, chipped, or been worn through Bruxism. If you have been in a minor accident that has knocked your teeth slightly out of alignment, this procedure may also prove an effective alternative to braces.
On a subjective level, anyone who is not one hundred percent satisfied with his or her smile can request cosmetic dental bonding on the sheer virtue of aesthetics alone.
What are some of the benefits of cosmetic dental bonding?
The first and most noticeable effect is that the teeth appear more uniform. Cosmetic dental bonding helps fill the gaps between irregularly shaped teeth and help them all look more even and proportional in relationship to one another. Another benefit you can expect from this procedure is that it covers up old amalgam fillings without having to remove the fillings and healthy tooth material to refill them.
Finally, the sheer cosmetic value of dental bonding cannot be emphasized enough. The bonding resin can be sculpted in such as way as to give you a smile that looks proportional and natural to your face and mouth. It is the ultimate confidence builder for people with a shy smile.
Does the procedure hurt?
Absolutely not. Cosmetic dental bonding is perhaps the most painless procedure ever performed in a dental chair. Its sheer simplicity negates the possibility of pain. The dentist first applies an alkaline solution to the surface of the teeth. This solution etches microscopic lines that act as adhesive surfaces to the bonding agent. Then, the dentist matches the color of your teeth to the composite resin that is actually used for the dental bond itself. Once the color match is made, the dentist applies the dental bonding resin to your teeth, and then sculpts it until the desired shapes and surfaces are achieved. He or she then hardens the resin with a laser or ultraviolet light. The hardened resin is polished, then hardened one final time.
How many layers of resin does cosmetic dental bonding require?
That depends on the degree of damage to the teeth and whether or not the color of the resin is actually intended to whiten severely stained teeth. It is normal for most patients to need several layers, so do not be concerned if the dentist recommends this for you.
How many office visits am I looking at?
Almost always, cosmetic dental bonding treatment takes only one office visit. If, however, you have suffered from severe tooth damage or gum recession due to periodontal disease, we may need to set up two appointments. The first appointment will be used to create a porcelain mold of your teeth. We will let this harden, and then call you back for a second appointment to use this mold as to apply the dental bonding resin. The stain resistant nature of porcelain, combined with its very hard surface, makes it an excellent surface to which the composite resin will effectively attach itself. This is only in extreme cases, however.
Is this an expensive treatment?
No. It costs much less than veneers and crowns. Call the Cosmetic Dentistry Center today at 888.790.0309 for more information, or to schedule a visit.
Labels: composite bonding resin, cosmetic dental bonding, dental bonding, teeth whitening
What is cosmetic teeth whitening?
It is a quick, painless, and inexpensive procedure that takes only two office visits to restore a brighter, more natural looking and healthy smile. Over the years, it has become more and more sophisticated, and has earned a reputation for producing lasting results. Cosmetic teeth whitening is something that almost every person can benefit from at some point in his or her life.
How is cosmetic teeth whitening performed?
The treatment involves the use of special bleaching gels and high-density light. In the past, a laser was used, but this created too much heat and often caused patients to experience undo sensitivity around their teeth. The Cosmetic Dentistry Center discontinued the use of the laser for this reason some time ago. The new high-density light works just as well, and causes no discomfort. Also, to further minimize sensitivity, we stagger two appointments two weeks apart on the calendar, and we have the patient perform nightly at home bleaching with special trays and gels we prepare before they leave the office on their first visit.
How long do the appointments last?
Both sessions last only for approximately 1-2 hours. By the end of the first session, the patient already begins to see an improvement in the whiteness of his or her teeth. The dentist then sends the patient home with the teeth whitening kit (a tray that fits over the teeth, and some teeth bleaching gel.) Patients remark that these kits are very easy and painless to apply.
The Cosmetic Dentistry Center strongly recommends that all teeth whitening patients avoid any substances, such as cigarettes, coffee, or wine that can stain the teeth. If the patient follows these and all other instructions, more visible results are clearly seen after two weeks of home treatments.
The final appointment consists of a second in-office bleaching is performed, followed by a special coating that seals the teeth. Although dentists discourage people from going back to old habits that initially stained their teeth to begin with, they are aware that some people do. This extra sealant coats the teeth and makes the results of the teeth whitening procedure last much longer.
How often should I have cosmetic teeth whitening performed?
That depends on your habits and how you treat your teeth. It may also depend on whether or not you are taking any prescription medication that is known to stain teeth. If so, you may need to come back in 6 months if the teeth are consistently exposed to staining agents. However, if you are not on medication and avoid unhealthy products, foods, and chemicals, you can expect your bright new smile to last a long, long time.
To get started on the road to a whole new look, start by calling our office today at 713.795.5905 to schedule a time for a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure.
Labels: cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic teeth whitening, teeth bleaching, tooth whitening bleach, tooth whitening kits
Last month we got a call from a lady named Stacey who was suffering from an intermittent and annoying toothache. The pain did not appear to have any definite pattern or cause. Sometimes her tooth would ache while she drank anything cold or hot. At other times, she would feel intense pain while chewing foods, although the constituency of the food (hard or soft) did not appear to matter. Then, at other times, she would eat an entire meal with no symptoms of a toothache at all. She decided to call us when she felt a dull, throbbing pain in the side of her mouth during the workday, making her irritable and causing her to have difficulty focusing on her job.
It may surprise you to learn that what Stacey experienced is not unusual. Many people assume that a toothache is just that---a tooth that aches with intense, chronic pain all the time. This is not always the case. Many people suffer from intermittent toothache symptoms that linger for hours, and then disappear as suddenly as they came. If this happens to you, you may find it hard to function in even the simplest areas of life, because you never know when the next round of pain is going to begin.
Toothache symptoms should be taken seriously, no matter how mild they may be at times, and no matter how irregularly they appear to come and go. This is because toothaches almost always originate deep within the tooth and indicate that something is wrong with the root itself. This is common with people who had silver-mercury fillings years ago, which have since fallen out undetected. By the time decay sets in to the point that toothache symptoms begin to felt, a root canal is often the only course of action. If left untreated, a dying root can become abscessed, and create an even worse condition.
In the case of Stacey, the culprit was an old silver-mercury filling that had fallen out of one of her teeth. Our intraoral camera showed very clearly where this had reopened the cavity and allowed infection to set into the root pocket. Even though the symptoms of her toothache were relatively mild and sporadic, the intermittent severity was deceptive. When a tooth root dies, it may not hurt significantly until the very last, and at that point, a severe infection or abscess is usually well underway.
Fortunately, this was not the case with Stacey. We had detected the problem soon enough to treat her with a simple root canal and dental crown. She has since reported all pain has left her mouth, and the new implant is not even noticeable in comparison to her natural teeth.
If you are a persona like Stacey who suffers from intermittent toothache symptoms, please call our office as soon as possible. Waiting until the last minute can result in very severe complications. Proactive, early treatment will deal with both the cause and the symptoms with much less pain and cost to you in the long run.
Labels: abscess, emergency toothache treatment, intermittent toothache, pain in tooth, root canal, toothache symptoms
Cosmetic dental veneers are overlays that restore a white, uniform appearance to teeth by covering the damaged or discolored enamel. Porcelain dental veneers are the most cosmetic and durable veneers that can be used to restore a natural, healthy smile. They are applied topically and require no anesthetic—making them one of the most painless experiences you can have in a dental chair. Even better, they are designed to last, and will not require repeated treatments and follow-ups if they are professionally designed and applied.
If your smile has become less than perfect, cosmetic dental veneers may be the ideal solution for you. If your teeth have been chipped over time, have little pits or holes in the surface, or are simply shaped in an irregular way, a crown would be too drastic for you. We can fit porcelain veneers right over the odd shapes and damaged portions of your teeth and create a whitened, smooth appearance. If you have been thinking you might need braces to correct minor tooth alignment problems, you might actually not. Cosmetic dental veneers have been successfully used to fill out the gaps between teeth and make individual teeth look more distinctive and proportional.
Of course, the most common reason people get porcelain veneers is to correct tooth discoloration. Any number of things can cause teeth to stain badly. Cigarettes and coffee are often the most common reasons people end up with very badly stained teeth. Even if you have never smoked, you may very well drink a lot of coffee and still end up after a period of years with yellowed teeth. Porcelain veneers have proven the most effective form of veneer to correct this problem. Porcelain is extremely hard, and it is completely non-permeable. If you get porcelain dental veneers and then continue to drink coffee, they won’t stain the way your teeth did.
You may not smoke or drink coffee, however, and conclude that you will never need cosmetic dental veneers. This may not be the case if you drink tea as a substitute for coffee. The more exotic teas that are becoming increasingly popular are full of dyes that can stain your teeth just as surely as coffee or cigarettes. Some prescription medicines also contain chemicals that can discolor teeth. While it is possible to eliminate caffeine from the diet, it is not possible to do without certain medications. If you are in this position, please consider the very viable solution of cosmetic dental veneers.
Another reason you might want to consider porcelain veneers is the presence of too many visible fillings in your mouth. You may have been very cavity-prone as a child and have been treated with a significant number of silver-amalgam fillings. Cosmetic porcelain dental veneers can easily cover up these dark spots on your smile and make you look like you never had a cavity in your life.
Not all people who come to the Cosmetic Dentistry Center for tooth veneers are coming because of damaged or chemically-discolored teeth. Some were cavity-prone children in their younger years, and have lived many years as adults with visible amalgam fillings that put dark spots in their smiles. Porcelain veneers, though amazingly tough, are nonetheless thin enough to cover up these cavities.
Remember too, that a cosmetic improvement to your teeth is just that—cosmetic. You do not have to have anything seriously wrong with your teeth to give yourself a lasting, white, and attractive smile that will last the rest of your life. Give us a call today for more information.
Labels: cosmetic dental veneers, cosmetic dentistry, porcelain veneers
Three weeks ago a patient by the name of David came to us after he had bitten down on a piece of chicken and felt sharp pain on one of his teeth. After that, he had consistently felt pain when he chewed a variety of foods. He even reported the tooth hurt him if he touched it with his tongue. He wondered that maybe he had broken one of his teeth. However, he could not see any fracture on the surface of the tooth when he examined it in the mirror. There was something that felt like a missing piece at the base of the tooth—possibly a filling he had gotten as a child had come loose? We advised him to come to our office, as it was impossible to determine the issue without a closer examination.
Many times a broken tooth does more than crack. A part of it actually splits off. People sometimes recover these fragments, in fact. This is not always the case though. A person like David, for instance, may see nothing wrong with the tooth and simply conclude that the problem lies with an old filling. The pain is nonetheless very acute, because a broken tooth is not something a person can ignore. The one good thing that comes of this situation is that few people procrastinate seeing a dentist. They want the pain to stop, and they usually act quickly enough to get the treatment they need to save the tooth.
David did procrastinate, however, because he tried to diagnose himself. Believing that this was simply a problem with old filling, and not a broken tooth, he assumed he had plenty of time to get the tooth refilled. Then, when the pain got significantly worse, he realized he needed an appointment as soon as possible. We worked him into the schedule, and got him into our office.
The first thing we did was pull his case history up on our computer. We found that the tooth he was having problems with had never been filled. This indicated that the problem indeed was a broken tooth, and that the fracture was located at an angle not possible for anyone to see without dental equipment. Our intraoral camera was able to find it immediately, though, and to show David a full color image of the tooth and the fracture on a high-resolution monitor. We also discovered just how serious the situation really was. The broken part of the tooth had penetrated the gumline and embedded itself in the tissue. The root had been exposed to open air, and infection was beginning to set in as well.
There really was no better course of action than extraction of the tooth. David was very upset with himself when he heard this. He blamed himself for not acting more quickly. We reassured him that more than likely this would have been the course of action recommended, anyway. A tooth that is broken below the gum line is not salvageable with a crown alone. A dental implant can be created that looks natural and healthy, making it look as though the original tooth had never been lost.
Please do not assume because this story ended well that it is ever a good idea to put off calling a dentist if you think you have a broken tooth. If David had waited longer, he may have developed an abscess. A broken tooth is nothing to play guessing games with, and certainly nothing to procrastinate treating.
Labels: broken tooth, dental implant, pain while chewing