Posts for: August, 2015
As a member of the best-selling pop group Spice Girls, Mel C (AKA Sporty Spice) enjoyed her share of musical superstardom. At the band’s peak in the Nineties, the young singer’s signature look featured baggy sweatpants, an assortment of tattoos, a nose stud and a gold-capped incisor, front and center in her mouth. Today, Melanie Chisholm is still singing — but now she’s a mom, an amateur triathlete… and that gold tooth is just a memory. Not only that, her smile looks more evenly spaced and whiter than it did when she was referred to as the “tomboy” of the group.
What happened? In our view, it all boils down to changing tastes — plus a little bit of help from dental professionals. As the “wannabe” singer proves, there’s no single standard when it comes to making your teeth look their best. Your own look is unique to you — and your smile can reflect that individuality.
For example, crowns (caps) are substantial coverings that may be placed on teeth when they are being restored. They are available in three types: gold, all-porcelain, or porcelain-fused-to-metal. The latter two are tooth-colored, while the gold is — well, shiny like gold bling. Which one is right for you? In many cases, it’s your choice.
Likewise, dental veneers — wafer-thin shells that can correct cosmetic issues by covering the surface of your teeth — can be made in a variety of shades. Their hues may range from natural ivory to Hollywood white, and everything in between. What’s the best color for you? Only you can say.
Some people opt for a “smile makeover” that uses small irregularities in the spacing and color of teeth to create a more “natural” look. Other folks want a perfectly even, brilliant white smile that dazzles the eye. Still others are looking to match or restore the smile they once had — perhaps even re-creating a signature gap between the teeth. As long as there are no other dental issues involved, the choice is yours.
So if you’re unhappy with your smile — or if you feel it doesn’t reflect the person you “wannabe” — why not talk to us about a smile makeover? Just call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Beautiful Smiles by Design” and “The Impact of a Smile Makeover.”
Dental implants are the ideal tooth replacement with their life-like appearance, high success rate and durability. If you have significant dental issues, they may seem like the perfect answer. But before you choose to replace a problem tooth with an implant, it might be to your benefit — financially and health-wise — to consider saving the tooth first.
Tooth decay can be a formidable enemy, destroying both tooth structure and the tooth’s connectivity to the jaw. But there are treatment options even for heavily decayed teeth, including cavity filling with composite resins or porcelain that look and function like natural teeth. For decay deep within a tooth’s interior, root canal therapy can rid the pulp chamber and root canals of decay and seal them from future occurrences. The treatment’s success rate is comparable to and less expensive than implants.
While decay damage can be significant, adult teeth are more at risk from periodontal (gum) disease, a gum infection caused by bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces. This disease can weaken gum tissues until they eventually detach from the teeth and lead to loss. Gum disease, though, can often be brought under control by techniques called scaling and root planing that deep clean tooth and root surfaces of plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits).
Scaling may require multiple sessions and will require a greater effort from the patient in performing daily oral hygiene and visiting the dentist regularly to closely monitor gum health. And more advanced cases may require surgery to access deep pockets of infection or repair damaged tissues. But even with this effort, treating gum disease rather than replacing a tooth could be much less costly — and you’ll be able to preserve your own teeth.
On the other hand, the disease process may have gone on too long and caused too much damage for the tooth to be saved. In these cases, the best option is to remove it and install a restoration like an implant. By first completing a complete dental examination, we’ll be better able to advise you whether your best course is a “tooth rescue” or a replacement.
Find out how your Billerica, MA dentist could help you prevent decay with a simple at-home rinse.
If your Billerica, MA dentist Dr. Kunio Chan determines that you are at an increased risk for developing cavities then we may recommend Carifree for preventing decay from affecting your smile. When you fill out the Carifree questionnaire we will be able to assess your lifestyle and habits to see if cavities are more likely to affect you. Anyone from low to high risk can gain oral health benefit from using this at-home system.
About Carifree Treatment
This uniquely formulated dental rinse is easily incorporated into your daily oral care routine. After brushing and flossing you will measure out this medicated rinse and swish it around in your mouth for about one minute before spitting it out. Carifree offers a variety of different kits and options to cater to many risk levels and dental issues.
Both adults and child over the age of 12 years old can benefit from Carifree treatment. Whether you are considered a low risk or a high-risk case, anyone can benefit from it. It can be used every day to help remineralize enamel, reduce bad bacteria, improve the mouth’s pH and promote the growth of healthy bacteria. It also contains fluoride to help strengthen enamel.
Those at low to moderate risk for decay can opt for Carifree Maintenance Rinse, which can be a great long-term way to prevent cavities. This is also a great option for those with bad breath, low salivary production, dental sensitivity and a diet that is highly acidic.
Ready to take on the fight against cavities from the comfort of your own home? Your Billerica dentist is here to help. Schedule an appointment with us and let us know you are interested in Carifree treatment. We would be happy to give you a scan with the Carifree meter to test your bacteria level and susceptibility to dental caries. Call your Billerica dentist today to find out more about Carifree. Let One Dental Care help you safeguard your oral health.