- Broken or fractured teeth.
- Cosmetic enhancement.
- Decayed teeth.
- Fractured fillings.
- Large fillings.
- Tooth has a root canal.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
What Is It?
Your teeth can become discolored by stains on the surface or by changes in the tooth material. Dentists divide discoloration into three main categories:
- Extrinsic discoloration — This occurs when the outer layer of the tooth (the enamel) is stained by coffee, wine, cola or other drinks or foods. Smoking also causes extrinsic stains.
- Intrinsic discoloration — This is when the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin) darkens or gets a yellow tint. Causes include excessive exposure to fluoride during early childhood, the maternal use of tetracycline antibiotics during the second half of pregnancy and the use of tetracycline antibiotics in children 8 years old or younger.
- Age-related discoloration — This is a combination of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. In addition to stains caused by foods or smoking, the dentin naturally yellows over time. The enamel that covers the teeth gets thinner with age, which allows the dentin to show through. Chips or other injuries to a tooth can also cause discoloration, especially when the pulp has been damaged.
In rare cases, children with a condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta are born with gray, amber or purple discolorations.
Symptoms include stains on the enamel or a yellow tint in the dentin.
No special tests are needed. A dentist can diagnose tooth discoloration by looking at the teeth.
Some tooth discoloration can be removed with professional cleaning, but many stains are permanent unless the teeth are treated (whitened) with a bleaching gel.
Brushing your teeth after every meal will help to prevent some stains. Dentists recommend that you rinse your mouth with water after having wine, coffee or other drinks or foods that can stain your teeth. Regular cleanings by a dental hygienist also will help to prevent surface stains.
Intrinsic stains that are caused by damage to a nerve or blood vessel in the inner part (the pulp) of a tooth sometimes can be prevented by having root canal treatment, which removes organic material before it has a chance to decay and darken. However, teeth that undergo root canal treatment may darken anyway. To prevent intrinsic stains in children, avoid water that contains a high fluoride concentration. You can check the concentration of fluoride in your drinking water supply by calling the public health department. Then consult your dentist.
Discoloration often can be removed by applying a bleaching agent to the enamel of the teeth. With a technique called "power bleaching," the dentist applies a light-activated bleaching gel that causes the teeth to get significantly whiter in about 30 to 45 minutes. Several follow-up treatments may be needed.
It's also possible to remove discoloration with an at-home bleaching gel and a mouth guard given to you by your dentist. The bleaching gels designed for use at home aren't as strong as those applied by your dentist, so the process takes longer — usually two to four weeks. Whitening toothpastes may remove minor stains, but they aren't very effective in most cases.
If you've had a root canal and the tooth has darkened, your dentist may apply a bleaching material to the inside of the tooth.
When a tooth has been chipped or badly damaged or when stains don't respond to bleaching, your dentist may recommend covering the discolored areas. This can be done with a composite bonding material that's color-matched to the surrounding tooth. Another option is to get veneers, which are thin shells of ceramic that cover the outer surfaces of the teeth.
When To Call a Professional
Tooth discoloration is mainly a cosmetic problem. Call a dentist if you're unhappy with the appearance of your teeth. Any change in a child's normal tooth color should be evaluated by a dentist.
Article Source: Colgate
Article Source: Colgate
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
It takes about six years, between the ages of six and 12, for children to lose their primary (deciduous) teeth and gain their permanent teeth. This is called the period of "mixed dentition," because for much of the time, children will have both primary and permanent teeth. Teeth form under the gum before they erupt (emerge through the gum). The crown, or visible part of the tooth, forms before the roots do. Before the roots form, the developing tooth is called a "tooth bud."
Eventually, the 20 primary teeth are replaced by 32 permanent teeth. The primary molars are replaced by permanent premolars (also called bicuspids) and the permanent molars come in behind the primary teeth. Most often, the first teeth to emerge are the lower two front teeth (incisors) and the upper and lower first molars, the molars closest to the front of the mouth. They are followed by the upper two front teeth. The order that teeth emerge can vary. Parents should be more concerned about symmetry (the same teeth coming in at the same time on both sides) than the time teeth emerge.
Article Source: Colgate
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
The American Association of Orthodontists reports that in the United States 4.5 million people are wearing braces or other dental appliances to straighten teeth and provide a healthy, beautiful smile (1). As many of us know, an orthodontist is a dentist with additional clinical training to treat malocclusions (improper bites), which may result from tooth irregularity and jaw issues.
Why Do Teeth Become Crooked?
Terry Pracht, DDS, past president of the American Association of Orthodontics says that both heredity and environmental factors can create crooked teeth and bite problems. Dr. Pracht mentions that hereditary factors include crowded teeth, teeth where there is too much space and malocclusions. He also mentions that crooked teeth can be caused by thumb sucking and tongue thrusting as well as accidents occurring to the jaw (1).
What are Treatment Options to Straighten Teeth or Malocclusions?
There are three stages of orthodontic treatment. The first is when appliances are used to gain space in the mouth. For example, palatal expanders are used to expand the width of the palate and lingual bars are used to expand the lower jaw. The active corrective stage is next when the braces are placed on the teeth. The teeth are then adjusted and then straightened and malocclusions are corrected over a period of time based upon the severity of the irregularity of the teeth and jaw issues. The third stage is the retention stage after braces are removed and when the teeth are monitored through the use of a retainer (removable or fixed) and semi-annual orthodontic visits are conducted to maintain the straightened smile.
Types of Braces
Braces from over 30 or so years ago included large metal bands that were enclosed and cemented around each tooth. Braces can be attached to the cheek side of the teeth as well as the tongue side of the teeth depending on what your orthodontist recommends to you for treatment. Braces, arch wires and bands can be colorful and a lot of fun for children, adolescents and teenagers to choose from.
Another newer alternative to braces is the Invisalign system which uses a series of clear removable aligners that are worn during the day and night to help in moving teeth into the correct alignment. When eating or brushing and flossing, the aligners may be removed.
Caring for Braces
Your orthodontist, dentist or dental hygienist will provide you with thorough instruction of how to properly clean your braces. There are many toothbrushes you can use both manual (specifically designed for orthodontic patients), power, electric or sonic. Ask your dental professional which is be best for you. Brushing should be conducted at least 2-3 times per day at a 45 degree angle in a back and forth motion. Be sure to remove plaque at the gum line to prevent gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue). Be sure to angle the toothbrush at the gum line and then gently brush around the brackets to remove plaque and food debris.
It is very important to clean in between your teeth with a floss threader and floss, a stimudent (tooth pick cleaner) or a proxabrush (interproximal cleaning brush) may be used if there is space between the teeth. Oral irrigators may be recommended to remove food debris and irrigate the gum tissue to remove disease and odor-causing bacteria that may be there if you have gingivitis. An antibacterial toothpaste and over-the-counter antimicrobial mouth rinses could also be used with the oral irrigator or alone.
How to Maintain a Smile After the Braces are Off
After your orthodontist has determined that your braces can be removed, it is very important that a retainer (a plastic appliance) be worn during the day or night as recommended by them. The retainer can be cleaned with warm water or toothpaste and a toothbrush after you wear it and placed in a plastic container when not in use.
See your dental professional for a twice a year professional cleaning and the orthodontist for regular maintenance appointments.