Some sleep apnea oral appliances work by changing the position of your lower jaw, the soft palate in your mouth, or your tongue. Some of them can also help you stop snoring. If you are having problems with CPAP and are thinking about getting one of these devices, we recommend you come to The Medical Center Dental Group to talk to a dentist about which one is best for you.
Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP)
The TAP™ sleep apnea oral appliance is based on the same principle as CPR. It uses a device to pull the lower mandible forward and keeps the trachea open. You can adjust it yourself for maximum comfort and effectiveness.
This custom-made sleep apnea oral appliance is made of upper and lower dental plates that allow you to open and close your mouth normally. You can speak clearly. You can drink water, juice, or milk at midnight. You can even yawn when wearing the SomnoMed MAS.
Herbst Telescopic Appliance
This oral appliance for OSA has also been proven to reduce chronic snoring in mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea sufferers. You can adjust the lower mandible to create maximum comfort and effectiveness.
Clasp Retained Mandibular Positioner
This oral appliance for sleep apnea and snoring uses a series of clasps to positively lock the mandible into the device. As a single-piece appliance, it allows you to adjust its height.
Elastomeric Sleep Appliance
This device is manufactured out of a very pliable and soft silicone material. It is tooth retained; having no clasps or wires to adjust. It is exceptionally comfortable.
Sleep Apnea Goldilocks Appliance (SAGA)
The SAGA is made out of a hard acrylic shell that is laminated with a soft vinyl liner. Two posterior arches hold the mandible in an open, protrusive position.
This custom-made oral appliance can be manufactured with or without an oral air passage. You can have a semi-universal trial version made for you if you do not want impressions of your teeth taken just yet. This is the best way to go if you have any questions about your ability to tolerate an oral appliance for sleep apnea.
Nocturnal Airway Patency Appliance (NAPA)
The NAPA is made from rigid acrylic and held to the teeth by Adams clasps. It is a non-adjustable appliance that allows you to breathe through the mouth if need be.
Adjustable PM Positioner
This oral appliance covers all of your maxillary and mandibular teeth. Your dentist makes it out of special acrylic material that is softened under hot water then molded to your teeth for maximum fit and retention. There are no metal claps on this device, but there are expansion screws on the sides that allow you to adjust it.
This is the next generation in oral appliances for sleep apnea. It combines a number of design features that increase comfort, acceptance, and effectiveness. These include clasp fee, acrylic projection retention, anterior openings for mouth breathing, freedom to move your jaws, and smaller overall size to allow for greater tongue space.
Hilsen Adjustable Positioning Appliance
Made of maxillary and mandibular full arch thermoplastic bases, the Hilsen has Velcro-like attachments that hold to the teeth by friction. You can adjust it yourself, or you can have your dentist adjust it for you.
Klearway Oral Appliance
This fully-adjustable oral appliance can be used to treat your snoring and your OSA. One of the best things about it is it does not encroach on tongue space. Its capability of lateral and vertical movement allows you to yawn, swallow, and drink without dislodging it.
This is the first oral device that has ever been approved by both the Dental Division and the Ear Nose and Throat divisions of the FDA. It works for both snoring and sleep apnea using mandibular repositioning. It also improves nasal breathing by acting as a nasal dilator for reduction of nasal resistance.
Elastic Mandibular Advancement Appliance (EMA)
This custom-made, non-invasive, and very simple, oral appliance uses of interchangeable elastic straps that to create varying degrees of mandibular advancement. These elastic straps provide excellent lateral movement and overall TMJ comfort.
This is a mandibular repositioning device that is right beside you in the dentist chair. It is used to treat both snoring and sleep apnea by repositioning the lower jaw downward and slightly forward.
This unique mandibular advancement device helps snoring and moderate sleep apnea. It allows for lateral movement of your jaw and unlimited adjustable protrusion. SomnoGuard® AP has an upper lower tray that are first heated in water, then molded to your teeth and jaws while you are in the dental chair.
Labels: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep apnea dental device, sleep apnea oral appliance
Dental Implant Prices
A lot of people never think about getting dental implants because they believe the prices are simply too expensive. While they are by no means cheap, dental implant prices are still within the grasp average citizens. Many insurance programs will partially cover costs. However, if yours does not, f Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston has financial assistance services for which you may qualify.
We make it a policy to neither establish nor advertise fixed prices as some cosmetic dental offices do. This is a highly variable service, the cost of which is determined by many different factors. Some tooth replacements are very simple and cost less—particularly if there is only a single implant or two. Other procedures can be more complicated and therefore more expensive. Full mouth reconstructions, for instance, might involve helping a person who has suffered from severe bone loss throughout significant portions of the mandibles. Helping such a patient may require combining selectively placed dental implants with porcelain bridges. This has taken up to 18 months to complete for some patients. It is difficult to establish a set price for this type of work, because the number of dental implants, the amount of bridgework, and any treatments like LANAP that we may have to perform for periodontal disease will have an impact on the final cost.
The only way that we can fairly calculate dental implant prices is to treat each case on a highly individual basis. Every patient has to have a complete dental exam consisting of photography (normally performed by our high-tech intraoral camera), x-rays, and close visual examination by the dentist. Every finding is discussed with the patient and all questions are answered. Options are reviewed, including the time it will take to perform the various treatments.
If the dentist recommends dental implants, prices will be agreed upon and a payment method established prior before any work is done. There will be no surprises or hidden costs. If finances prohibit the patient from moving forward at the present time, there are also other options to consider. We have a number of cosmetic tooth procedures that we can administer as either temporary or long-term solutions. However, for patients with serious restorative needs, dental implants are often the key to a final, satisfactory resolution. The added strength that even a few dental implants bring to the mandibles makes the investment worthwhile from a health and wellness perspective, and no one can deny the magnificence of brand new teeth that sometimes look even better than the originals they replaced.
If you need dental implants but are afraid of the prices you might be charged, please call us and see what we can do to help you satisfy your desires. We sincerely want the best for each and every patient, and we will do the best we can to develop a win-win financial plan for all parties concerned.
Labels: dental implant prices, Dental Implants, full mouth reconstruction
The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® (TAP®) is sleep apnea oral device that is used to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA. It has proven to be very effective, and it has given many people relief from some of the more notable problems associated with CPAP. It resembles a sports mouth guard, only it is worn by the patient while asleep.
The TAP® holds the mandible forward while the patient sleeps. This keeps the tongue and throat tissues from constricting the air passage. The idea for this device actually came from CPR, which was developed as a method of keeping the trachea of an unconscious person open.
The Thornton Adjustable Positioner® has two trays that are held together by a hook attached to a lower tray socket. This hook pushes the lower jaw forward and prevents soft throat tissue from collapsing and blocking the trachea.
Patients can adjust the device in order to alter the degree to which the lower jaw is pulled forward.
This allows them to actively participate in their own treatment, and it is the one key feature of the (TAP®) that makes so many patients prefer it over other sleep apnea oral appliances. Busy professionals do not have to take time off from work to go have the advice adjusted by the dentist—they can do it themselves.
The TAP® sleep apnea oral appliance is made from medical grade stainless steel- nickel alloy. For patients who are allergic to nickel, the Thornton Adjustable Positioner® is also available in a TAP® Nickel-Free model that is exceptionally bio-friendly to patients with sensitive mouths.
The TAP® sleep apnea oral appliance is made from a thermoplastic orthodontic polycarbonate material. It is then lined with one of two very comfortable materials. The first material is known as ThermAcryl™--a unique polymer softens when heated and shapes to the contour of the patient’s teeth. It can be easily reheated and realigned to match changes in patient dentition that might occur over time.
Another material, often considered even more comfortable to wear, is Triple Laminate (TL). It is made from a soft and flexible dual laminate that seats around the teeth, relying on suction to create a firm grip.
To be fitted for a Thornton Adjustable Positioner®, just call our office and schedule an appointment. Most insurance plans will pay for your sleep apnea oral appliance, but even if yours does not, we have a number of financing options you can consider.
Labels: obstructive sleep apnea, sleep apnea, sleep apnea dental device, sleep apnea oral appliance
Although it does not cure sleep apnea, sleep experts typically recommend CPAP as the best treatment for OSA. The device itself is based on a simple design--consisting of a mask, a tube, and a fan. It is set to predetermined air pressure specifically prescribed for the patient. This continuous pressure keeps the air passageways open while the patient is asleep. While this may sound like the ideal solution to OSA, there are a number of CPAP problems that many patients feel make the device simply too difficult for them to use.
The mask on the CPAP machine can irritate the nose and face.
CPAP masks are deliberately designed for a tight fit. This is necessary to maintain the pressure needed for effective operation. However, it can irritate the skin around the mouth in the process. Of all the CPAP problems that our reported to our office, this is probably the one we hear about the most. Some patients try to solve this by changing to a different sized mask. Others try nasal pillows that fit into the nostrils and alleviate pressure on the bridge of the nose. Doctors sometimes tell patients to alternate between the mask and nasal pillows to get maximum relief.
Another CPAP problem is the pressure produced by the machine itself.
A lot of patients simply find it to be disturbing and uncomfortable. Many have difficulty falling asleep as a result. Sometimes, adjusting the machine to start off with a low pressure and then gradually increasing the pressure will bring some relief. For other people, though, any pressure at all is too much pressure, period, because it impedes their ability to exhale. In these cases, sleep apnea specialists may try prescribing a bi-level positive airway machine to reduce air pressure when the patient breathes out.
Some CPAP problems are psychological in nature.
Claustrophobic individuals will sometimes feel smothered by the CPAP mask. They may attempt wearing it for a while, but they take it off as soon as the anxiety strikes. The CPAP machine usually ends up in the closet after this. While such a problem lies completely within the mind, it is nonetheless very real to the person, and very serious. Some people can overcome their fears gradually by using the unit a little bit each night and in the early morning hours (when most apneic events occur).
Severe discomfort and occasional pain are less frequent, but nonetheless severe CPAP problems.
CPAP specialists do everything they can to make these devices as comfortable as possible for their patients. Unfortunately, some people simply cannot wear them. Everyone has different facial features that are unique. Some simply cannot accommodate a mask. People with significant weight problems and people with very short, thick necks commonly report that their CPAP machines are painful to wear.
One solution to these problems may be bariatric surgery (for weight loss) or nasal surgery. As a general rule, though, we recommend surgery only as a last resort because of the increasing availability of so many different FDA-approved sleep apnea oral appliances. If you are among those suffering from CPAP problems, consider the benefits of treating your obstructive sleep apnea with a proven, tested dental device custom made in our office just for you.
Labels: CPAP, obstructive sleep apnea, sleep disorders, SomnoDent MAS
What is the starting cost of dental implants. My main concern at the moment is a missing front tooth. I need an idea on how much it will cost since financing is not an option. -Barbara
The cost will depend upon what is necessary. Depending on what conditions are present, the cost of restoring missing teeth can be more than you expect. In our opinion, you cannot get a true picture of what your needs are, and therefore what your costs will be, over the internet. There is much often more going on than you realize. I assume -- that you are assuming -- you have a simple situation. Some are straightforward and some are complex.. Having an implant plus a crown to restore it can vary approximately from $2500 - $5000 if a single implant is what you need..
Ø Have you already lost a tooth?
Ø Is the spacing right to just restore one tooth? Is the spacing crowded? Is there too much space?
Ø Do you have root canal needs? Have there been root canals done on teeth nearby?
Ø Have you had a fall or a blow?
Ø Have you lost bone in the area you are asking about?
Ø Do you have a tooth that you can tell will be lost?
Ø Do you have periodontal problems with this area and adjacent teeth?
Ø There are certainly times when the bone is OK and adequate, that an implant is a great idea, and there ore other situations in which an alternate treatment would be better for you. Dental implants are terrific, but there are times when they are contra-indicated (lack of bone, esthetic demands).
Ø Do your other front teeth have needs? Matching teeth color can be tricky, and there are times that other fillings need to be replaced or other crowns need to be done at the same time.
Truly the only way that we can understand your needs and give you an estimate of costs for your needs is for you to come into the office and let us take x-rays, photos, study models, etc. Please call and come by for an exam. You will learn what your whole situation is and what your options are. There are always several options.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Dale Brant, DDS
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic dental procedures, financial options
Ask The Dentist:
I have very healthy teeth. (No Cavities) But I have advanced Pereodontal disease. I was told that I will have to have my healthy teeth pulled. Does this treatment increase my chances of keeping my teeth and how will it increase the chance of new bone growth? Also are there other cities where this procedure is performed?I assume that you are asking about the laser periodontal procedures for periodontal patients. The new LANAP procedure is an excellent alternative for periodontal treatment. There are certainly situations that are beyond any type of treatment, but this conservative perio treatment has a place as a treatment option for you. You will have to have a comprehensive dental exam with radiographs and periodontal pocket depth probing to be able to give you an opinion as to what your situation is.
To answer your question, there are several doctors around the country that have the Nd:YAG laser that allows for this treatment. It was developed originally in California.
Please communicate with us and we will try to help you understand your options.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Labels: LANAP, LPT, Pereodontal Gum Disease, Pereodontal Treatment
Ask The Dentist:What is the number scale that hygienists use to measure the amount of recession going on? Does it have a name, and is it universally used in the USA?
Dentistry uses the metric system for measurement. In assessing periodontal bone and/or soft tissue loss, the measurements would be in millimeters. The most common measurement is the depth of the periodontal pocket, in which we use a periodontal probe to measure the distance from the base of the gingival pocket to the gingival crest. The norm is approximately 2-3 mm, and deeper than this basically reflects periodontal bone loss.
When there is also recession of tissue, the facial root surface is exposed. Measurement of tissue loss and recession would be from the cervical line (where the enamel ends) to the height of the exposed root.
Adding these 2 numbers together would show total loss – bone lost in pocket + facial soft tissue lost.
There are a variety of ways to gather records, but these are the parameters that we are trying to assess. Individual clinicians would have different techniques and methods.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Labels: bone loss, cosmetic dental implants, periodontal pocket, tooth roots
Ask The Dentist
I had braces for 5 years as a child. When I got them off my teeth were green. We tried Rembrandt bleach trays but that seemed to eat the enamel off my teeth. When I had a child they got worse. Then one day (I'm still unsure how) I got kicked in the face so my front tooth is cracked. I'm ashamed to admit because of being ashamed of what 5 yrs of braces left me w/ I haven't taken care of them, but my mom just said for graduation she may buy me my teeth she's been promising for about 15 yrs if she can get an estimate. I just want the confidence to smile so i can get a job in my new field.Thanks for the note – sounds like you are an excellent candidate for cosmetic dental restoration. You obviously need a complete exam, including x-rays and photos to help to decide what your options are. Give us a call and we will gather information and try to teach you what choices you have and what the costs are. Here are a couple of photos of before and after so you can see what new crowns look like.Chuck Campbell, DDS
The SomnoDent® MAS is a sleep apnea dental appliance that a series of rigorous clinical trials have proven to be a comfortable and safe alternative CPAP treatment. Several key design features, advantages, and benefits allow this sleep apnea dental appliance to function much more effectively than typical, traditional mouth guards.
One key feature of SomnoDent® MAS is its streamlined design that makes it one of the few devices of its kind that can be worn by people with a strong gag reflex. It fits both the upper and lower arches of the jaw equally, and it has been engineered to make both anterior and posterior contact with key areas in the mouth. Occlusion is therefore more stable, and tooth movement is minimized.
The SomnoDent® MAS can minimize the tempero-mandibular joint discomfort that is often caused by other night guards. It has also consistently proven itself to be a strong preventative of Bruxism.
This sleep apnea dental device is actually composed of two separate pieces so that it will be easier for people to open and close their mouths. Patients are able to yawn, speak understandably, and drink while wearing their nightguard.
The SomnoDent® MAS sleep apnea dental device can also be worn without causing excessive salivation. Other night guards often trigger this because of a piece that holds them to the front teeth. However, the MAS fits so seamlessly into the upper and lower arches that it requires no secondary attachment mechanism, so the side effects caused by other dental devices which include dry mouth, dribbling, and undo salivation are absent with the SomnoDent.
Another benefit that this extraordinary, comfortable fit offers the patient is an exceptionally high level of retention. Seldom, if ever, does a SomnoDent® MAS ever fall out of the mouth of a patient. It can, however, be conveniently removed and titrated, cleaned, and disinfected just like any other sleep apnea dental device. Its acrylic construction makes it difficult to damage, and even if it is damaged, repairs and adjustments are easy to make.
When the dentist issues your SomnoDent sleep apnea dental device, he or she adjusts it to fit the optimal protrusion position of your mouth. This ensures the most effective and comfortable treatment possible. Adjusting the device is also easy, because it is made to fit each the optimal protrusion position of each and every patient in order to find which setting provides the most effective and comfortable treatment. We at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston have made it a point to make the SomnoDent® MAS a key option to patients who suffer from sleep apnea and who feel that CPAP treatment simply is not an option for them.
Labels: CPAP, obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, sleep apnea
The Snap-On Smile is a non-invasive, patented dental device that can be used in both restorative and diagnostic applications.
There is no need for any drilling, Novocain shots, or adhesive bonding to install it. In fact, most applications can be completed in as little as one half hour.
The Snap-On Smile can raise the vertical dimension of facial height.
Tooth surfaces diminish after long periods of Bruxism and attrition. Face muscles will eventually begin to sag because of this. Restoring the proper surface areas of teeth will in reverse this drooping effect, create a healthier and more natural looking smile, and prevent further Bruxism at night.
The Snap-On Smile is the most comfortable and attractive cosmetic removable partial denture developed to date.
Tooth loss creates two problems for people. One problem is gaps in the smile. The other problem is the damaged appearance of remaining teeth. By applying a Snap-On Smile, both problems can be corrected at once. The Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston can make these cosmetic removable partials in either quadrant or full arch sizes. Patients almost unanimously report these are the best dentures they have ever used. One group of patients in particular—those with a strong gag reflex—especially like these dentures because they cover only the teeth, not the palate.
The Snap-On Smile has consistently proven itself to be a superior form of temporary replacement for people receiving implants.
The unobtrusive nature of the device prevents it from coming from impinging on gingival tissues. Because of its 100 percent tooth-retention, it puts far less pressure on the mouth in general. This makes it far easier for tissues that have received an implant to heal.
This device has also proven to be a very effective surgical template in a number of procedures such as cosmetic gingivectomies. After such a surgery is performed, the near perfect fit that the tooth-retained partials provide provides the gum line with an ideal contour to follow in healing and post-surgical growth.
Many people come to us looking to use The Snap-On Smile for exclusively cosmetic purposes.
There are all types of negatives that can impact the way teeth look. Such issues as midline discrepancies, stains in teeth, worn teeth, chips and small cracks, dark triangles, and even uneven tooth sizes can all be cosmetically altered by this simple device. It is also possible to use these remarkable tooth retained dentures as temporary tooth replacements during full mouth reconstruction work that can take up to 18 months. While bridges and implants are being placed in the mouth, the Snap-On Smile can show a consistently natural and healthy looking face to the world while the dentist works quietly behind the scenes.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, cosmetic removable partial dentures, cosmetic tooth whitening, dental abfraction, dental tooth implants, full mouth reconstruction, Snap-On Smile
Better adhesives and superior methods of manufacture now make it possible to create all porcelain crowns. Until recently, crowns were made of a combination of porcelain and metal. It was necessary to make them this way in order to allow them to withstand the force of biting and chewing. Crowns were built around a metal core that would unfortunately be visible as a thin blue line at the base of the crown.
In the beginning, most people accepted this. They were happy to have a crown that looked like a natural tooth—even though the obtrusive presence of the metal was visible anytime they smiled. In time, however, society developed higher expectations for beauty and cosmetics, and people became unsatisfied with the blue lines in their crowns. What bothered many people even more was the tendency over time for the gums to turn black at the bases of tooth crowns.
New technology evolved that makes all porcelain crowns a much better choice. They have a naturally translucent quality that makes them almost impossible to distinguish from natural teeth. Without metal, there is no thin blue line, and there is no black line at the base of the gums. Even better, all porcelain crowns are healthier for your gums, because they are actually set above the gum line.
Two types of all porcelain crowns are used by dentist: bonded and extra strength.
Dentists use bonded all porcelain crowns on the front teeth because they are thinner. While they are not as strong as extra strength crowns, they work very well on the front teeth which experience less pressure during chewing than the back teeth. Furthermore, the way the porcelain is bonded to teeth adds strength to its form and substance. If this sounds like something you might want to consider, we recommend that you schedule an appointment with the Cosmetic Dentistry Center. This is because most schools of general dentistry do not normally train their graduates in the special techniques needed to place these crowns.
The back teeth require extra strength porcelain crown that can withstand the full impact of chewing. These are made from new types of advanced ceramics that do not require a bonding agent to adhere them to tooth surfaces. While there is no metal core to these tooth replacements, they are a bit whiter in color than natural teeth. This is another reason cosmetic dentists prefer to use them in the back of the mouth rather than the front, to prevent the slight variation in color from being noticeable when the person smiles.
Labels: all porcelain crowns, cosmetic dental crowns, dental crowns, porcelain crowns
Intraoral cameras are fantastic tools used by cosmetic dentists to examine a variety of unhealthy tooth and gum conditions. These cameras are light years ahead of previous dental mirrors that were once used to examine cavities, gum disease, and dental abfraction. They provide us with a high degree of diagnostic accuracy, and they help patients make better decisions for themselves by letting them see what the dentist sees.
Before intraoral cameras were developed, people would try to diagnose themselves whenever they felt pain in their teeth or gums. This did little more than increase anxiety, because even with a bright light and a good mirror, the problems that are visible convey little meaning to people without advanced dental training. For example, if a person saw blood around his or her gums, or what appears to be a crack in his or her teeth, panic ensued. They would go straight to the dentist, who would then employ special mirrors and lights to examine the mouth closely.
The problem with this method was that it does not allow patients to see their own mouths in any amount of detail. If a dentist then recommends a procedure that may involve multiple office visits or finances people feel uncomfortable investing, patients may hesitate before authorizing treatment. There is much to be said about the old saying: seeing is believing. When people confront the unknown, they typically draw back in fear. When the unknown becomes known to them, however, they realize there is really nothing to fear. When patients can see clearly the problems in their own teeth and gums, and have the dentist patiently explain how these problems can be painlessly and cost-effectively fixed, they gain a new confidence, and they find new resources to fund their own health and well-being. If they do not, we have a number of programs that can assist patients in paying for the services we perform.
This has often proven true when we discovered that older, silver-mercury amalgam fillings in teeth are no longer working, or they have fallen out. We immediately recommend cosmetic dental bonding as a replacement for these fillings. However, many people hesitate in this economy to spend the money on this service until they see the actual holes in their teeth and the impending dangers of further decay that will inevitably result if the tooth is neglected. The intraoral camera shows them in full color and high-resolution detail a magnified, completely accurate image of the current condition of each and every tooth with a failed filling. This is normally all it takes to convince people that dental bonding is nothing to put off if a filling falls out.
The optical portion of the intraoral camera resides at the end of a very long, thin shaped and sized much like a pen. The dentist can move it anywhere in the mouth without hurting the patient. The instrument then sends a signal through a digital feed that is interpreted and displayed on large, high-resolution color monitor. Minor fractures can be magnified to great detail. Fillings that are on the verge of falling out can be closely examined. Gum disease can be examined in thorough detail, and its type and severity accurately diagnosed. What is even better about the intraoral camera is that it allows the patient to participate in this examination every step of the way.
This allows the fears of the patient to be calmed when they arise, and it also allows for all options on the table to be discussed from a more informed perspective. Strategies for making procedures comfortable and painless, along with procedures done with advanced technology such as the periodontal laser, can all be considered and explored from both a treatment perspective and the perspective of financial resources.
Labels: dental bonding, dental examination, financial options, intraoral camera, payment plans, periodontal disease, tooth fillings
Placing a Porcelain Inlay
A porcelain inlay is an indirect filling that is used to repair a decayed portion of a tooth or the hole left in a tooth after a silver-mercury amalgam filling has failed. In some respects, it works much like a tooth filling because it fits within the cusp of a tooth to replace either a lost filling or fill a cavity caused by decay. However, a porcelain inlay is very different from a standard filling. Not only is it made from an entirely different material, but the process used to make it similar to the process of making a dental crown. Porcelain inlays are made in a laboratory to match the shape and size of the tooth. They restore the cosmetic appearance of teeth, and they strengthen teeth by restoring the original surface area that was lost to damage or decay.
We at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center of Houston do not recommend the use of silver-mercury amalgam fillings. However, we do often fill teeth with composite resin through a process known as dental bonding. Dental bonding, however, requires a certain minimal tooth mass in order to be performed. When decay or tooth fracture has destroyed the majority of the tooth surface, placing a porcelain inlay can restore the appearance and function of the tooth so it does not have to be extracted. For people who cannot afford dental implants at this time, placing porcelain inlays provides a viable alternative to tooth replacement.
Manufacturing porcelain inlays is very similar to manufacturing dental crowns. It will take two appointments to make the inlays and place them. During the first visit, the dentist begins by cleaning up the affected tooth or teeth to prepare them for the placement of inlays. The dentist first numbs the area around the teeth to make the procedure painless. If the problem is old fillings, he or she will first extract what remains of the filling from the interior of the tooth. A rubber dam may be used to prevent debris from falling into your mouth. Any decayed areas are also removed, and the remaining healthy portion of the tooth is reshaped.
The dentist will then make impressions of your teeth in order to create a working model of your natural bite. These impressions are very important and must be meticulously taken in order to create an accurate model. A dentist may place a small string between your teeth and gums in order to push the gums gently away from tooth surfaces. Once the impressions are made, the dentist will place temporary inlays in your mouth while the porcelain inlays are being made. It will take approximately one to two weeks for the laboratory to manufacture your new inlays. When they are ready, the dentist will call you back, remove the temporaries, and place the permanent inlays in your teeth. The dentist will check the bite with colored tape to see where your teeth are coming together, and he or she will also floss between the teeth to make certain there are no tight spots.
If your teeth pass inspection, the dentist will permanently place your porcelain inlays by cementing them in place. Inlays can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years and have proven themselves to be one of the most effective cosmetic tooth restoration procedures we can economically provide to our patients.
Labels: composite bonding resin, cosmetic dental bonding, cosmetic dental crowns, cosmetic dental procedures, cosmetic tooth procedures
Hypocalification and Hypercalcification
Ask the Dental ExpertsOur philosophy is to help our patients achieve and maintain exceptional dental health. We work hard to make sure that our level of care is deserving of our patients’ respect and confidence. Our tradition of preventive dentistry is the basis for all service and care in our practice. We welcome all questions and comments regarding dentistry in the hope that we increase your dental "IQ" and help you make better dental health decisions. Hello!I recently had a dentist appointment, where I was told that there were spots of calcification on my teeth. I have been trying to find the causes of it, but have not had much luck. I almost think that I heard him wrong, because there is only information on decalcification. The problem is almost grainy parts of my teeth next to my gums. He said that I could have them fixed with filler, but I am just a bit confused.Any thoughts or clarifying information?Thanks,Alicia
Hi, Alicia. Teeth can have white areas or spots in the enamel that can be either hypo – or hyper calcified areas. They kind of look the same. When we say hypercalcified areas, we are usually talking about areas that occur naturally in the teeth. If you look closely at enamel, you will see that there is a blend of many different colors, and sometimes there is just a white spot or two….or more. Sometimes on kids we call these “temperature spots”, as they correlate with times in the child’s growth that there was an infection (maybe ear infection) that had a systemic effect on tooth formation…usually no treatment is necessary, unless there is a cosmetic problem. Usually the treatment to change the appearance would be to bond the area with composite resin material to blend in with surrounding enamel.
Hypocalcified areas are different. These are generally soft spots in the enamel where decay has started. It kind of looks the same, but it is not hard like hypercalcified areas, but softening as the decay process goes on. As the enamel decalcifies because of exposure to the acid in dental plaque, it gets “chalky” looking and whiter…. These areas occur where plaque accumulates and cavities form. Most likely areas are around braces, around the cervical “neck” of the tooth, around dental fillings and crowns, and in between the teeth if dental floss is not used. If that plaque is sitting there and not removed by brushing and flossing, decay often follows. Always this decay process is accelerated if the patient eats a lot of candy, sips soft drinks all day, or has acid reflux. These conditions increase the acidity in the area, and the enamel breaks down faster. So, if you are drinking 6 Cokes a day, you can almost watch the decay happen. If these areas are restored, the most common material used is again cosmetic bonding with composite resin….same treatment for different reason. People that have this decay process need to learn better cleaning habits, need to evaluate how frequently they are exposing their mouth to sugar, use stronger fluoride gels daily – all to understand their risk factors and manage the problem. If these habits are not changed, decay will happen again, around the new restoration.
Does that help? You just need to ask a couple of questions of the dentist you are seeing.
Chuck Campbell, DDS
Labels: hypercalcification, hypocalicification
There are many cosmetic teeth procedures that we can perform for you here at the Houston Medical Center Dental Group. Some are simple, requiring only one or two office visits. Some are more complex, requiring reconstructive dental work to repair or replace damaged or broken teeth.
Cosmetic Dental Bonding
One of our newer, more advanced cosmetic teeth procedures is cosmetic dental bonding. This procedure has basically replaced silver-mercury fillings. A special bio-friendly resin that looks like tooth enamel is used in dental bonding. It fills cavities much better than older amalgams, smoothes out cracks, and whitens tooth surfaces. Because it lasts longer as well, there is little risk that it will fall out.
Cosmetic Dental Bleaching
Another one of our more popular cosmetic teeth procedure is cosmetic dental bleaching. This is done with a bleaching gel. During your initial office visit, the dentist whitens your teeth. You then use another bleaching agent every night, at home, for two weeks. During your second and final office visit, another treatment of bleach is applied.
Cosmetic Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are made of porcelain. They are very hard and very difficult to break. Their color looks like that of natural tooth enamel. Porcelain is resistant to staining, so once veneers are applied, they will retain their color for years.
Veneers are one of the most versatile cosmetic teeth procedures. They can be used to treat a number of conditions. They can cover small chips and pits in tooth surfaces. They can whiten badly discolored teeth which bleach will not work on. They have even been used to correct minor tooth alignment problems.
Cosmetic Dental Porcelain Crowns
Prior to the development of more sophisticated cosmetic teeth procedures, dentists had few choices in treating severely decayed or fractured teeth. When a cavity destroyed more than 40 percent of a tooth, or when a tooth was cracked down to the dentin, the tooth had to be pulled. Prior to the development of dental implants, people no real tooth replacement options beyond traditional bridges or partial dentures. .
Porcelain crowns have introduced a whole new realm of options. While the life of a tooth cannot always be saved, crowns now make it possible to salvage physical structure and function of the tooth. Severely infected or damaged teeth can be cleaned with a standard root canal. Then, they can be capped with a porcelain crown that looks identical to surrounding teeth. Porcelain crowns are much more resilient than natural teeth, so they can restore both aesthetics to the smile and allow you to eat virtually anything.
Cosmetic Dental Implants
For people who have lost teeth, implant dentistry offers the best tooth replacement options. Made from a bio-friendly alloy known as Tivolloy, dental implants screw into the jawbone and act like artificial tooth roots. When the jaw has accepted this implant, the dentist then caps the base with a porcelain crown, effectively creating a whole new tooth where none has existed for years.
Labels: cosmetic dentistry, cosmetic dentists Houston, cosmetic teeth whitening, cosmetic tooth procedures, cosmetic tooth whitening, dental imlplants, dental implant, teeth replacements
Many people with missing teeth are looking for tooth replacements. While the best possible tooth option for these individuals is dental implants, it may not always be economically possible for people to invest in dental implants immediately. In this economy, it might be better to use a temporary alternative until more money becomes available. Upper partial dentures are one such alternative that can replace missing teeth with a working substitute for natural teeth that helps cosmetically improve one’s appearance. Upper partial dentures allow a person to eat more comfortably and maintain a healthier mouth because they prevent muscles in the cheek and lips from atrophying.
There are several more benefits to upper partial dentures. They fill in gaps between natural teeth and prevent them from shifting. Missing teeth can set off chain reactions that frequently result in misalignment, chewing problems, cavities, and periodontal disease. Upper partials will often prevent this chain reaction from being set off. By filling in gaps between natural teeth, they keep teeth from shifting out of alignment and reduce the risk of enamel becoming damaged. They also lower the risk of periodontal disease. Additionally, dentures will help balance the bite and make it easier to chew. They help keep facial muscles from collapsing into the gaps between teeth. They also make it easier for a person to speak and have a normal facial appearance.
Upper partial dentures are fixed in place by clasps that fit around the existing. In spite of the effective grip, there are many disadvantages to this method of retention that patients have to get used to. Clasps will show when you smile. However, most people will never even notice them. You may experience difficulty eating. People normally complain that they can taste the metal of the bar, and some say the bulky nature of partials can trigger a gag reflex at first. Even dentures that do fit well will collect food and have to be rinsed after each meal.
Because of these reasons, we recommend upper partial dentures as only a temporary, economic alternative to dental implants. Implants should be considered as the final and best solution to missing teeth. Partial dentures will eventually wear out after several years of being taken in and out of the mouth for cleaning. Also, the jaw bone will begin to recede because there are not tooth roots to grow around. The only thing that can prevent this recession is an implant that functions like a tooth root and gives the jaw bone something to grow around.
If you are facing some rough times, please consider that upper partial dentures, although not the best solution, still offer great value as a functional and cosmetic means to an end. While they may not the ultimate solution to the very serious problem of missing teeth, they are most certainly better than nothing.
Many assume dentures are stereotypical false teeth. They picture things like teeth in a glass on the counter in a kitchen, causing embarrassment to friends and fright to children. This is far from the truth. Dental technology has progressed far beyond generic methods of past decades. Today, tooth replacements are much more sophisticated and personalized to the individual. In fact, there are several different types of dentures you can choose from. Among the more interesting options to consider are overdentures, which are made to fit over existing teeth. They look the same as traditional dentures, but they offer the advantage of letting you keep existing teeth.
We recommend to our patients that they protect themselves against bone loss as much as possible. Without dental implants to grow around, the jaw bone will begin to recede a little at a time. With dentures, people are able to chew and smile to some degree, but dentures do nothing to stop bone deterioration. Because traditional dentures often involve extracting existing teeth in order to help them fit, bone loss normally results after a few years. However, when you use overdentures that slide over your remaining natural teeth, bone loss is minimal in comparison (depending on the number of natural teeth preserved, of course.)
To make certain that your overdentures bring you maximum benefit, we at the Cosmetic Dentistry Center will take great care to prepare your remaining, natural teeth for fitting. In most instances, we remove a piece of each natural tooth above the gum line so it will have a better surface to which to fit overdentures. We also do a root canal on every tooth to prevent the possibility of an infection that would result in tooth loss. We cap these teeth to ensure the best possible fit.
When natural teeth simply cannot be saved, we will reluctantly pull them in the best interests of preserving remaining teeth. However, we so try very hard not to use this option as anything other than a last resort.
We next take impressions of your entire mouth to create the actual overdentures. These impressions allow us to create precise working models of the natural teeth you have lost. We then match the overdentures to the color of your natural teeth and place them in your mouth.
This is one of the best alternatives to permanent dental implants, but ultimately implants offer the very best possible form of tooth replacement. As unobtrusive and effective as overdentures are, they should still be considered as a transition to dental implants and never as a permanent solution to missing teeth.
People loose teeth for many reasons, including tooth decay, periodontal disease, and accidents. Bone loss can occur from periodontal disease can even cause bone that will further loosen teeth in their sockets. When they become this loose, or too severely damaged to cap, many dentists will decide that extracting them is the only option. In these instances, immediate dentures can then be used as teeth replacements.
Immediate dentures are made and placed in the mouth within 24 hours of tooth extraction. This is why they are called immediate dentures, and the rapid placement of them offers a very good chance of speedy recovery and minimized infection.
Immediate dentures are made from impressions of the mouth that the dentist makes before teeth are extracted. A mold is made from natural a tooth that mimics their size, shape, and texture. Dentists then pinpoint the exact shape and color of natural and use this to color your dentures. Your immediate dentures are then made and unhealthy and loose teeth pulled. This will be done under anesthetic to prevent you from feeling pain.
As each tooth is extracted, it is replaced with an immediate denture. After the procedure, there are some side effects that will linger for the first 24 hours. Your gums will probably swell and make your denture(s) feel tight. You may also have problems associated immediately after your dentures are placed. Some may tip when you chew, and you may notice an increase in salivation.
Your dentures may feel bulky at first no matter how closely we match them to your natural teeth. If you have a strong gag reflex, it may be triggered at first, but not for very long. Some people report a slight difficulty speaking at first. Overall, though, all of these effects diminish as your mouth eventually adjusts.
Your jawbone will also heal over the six to nine months, and your gums will shrink slightly. We will correct this by using a temporary lining material to fill the small gaps between the denture(s) and the gum. After about 9 months, when the healing process is complete, your mouth will assume a final shape that we can then use to reline each denture for a final fit.
No one wants to have a tooth pulled, but sometimes it is necessary. One way to prevent further tooth and bone loss is to get immediate dentures that will not only help maintain your health, but will also work to restore and improve your smile.
Labels: cosmetic dental implants, dental tooth implants, false teeth, immediate dentures, teeth replacements, tooth replacements