Posts for: January, 2016
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Dental veneers are an extremely versatile cosmetic dentistry option that are used to hide a variety of imperfections. Kunio Chan, DMD, offers veneers in Billerica at One Dental Care and explains how veneers can help you redesign your smile.
Veneers offer a simple way to transform your teeth. The thin porcelain shells are permanently attached to your teeth and are used to address the following issues:
- Gaps: Veneers hide small gaps that can make you self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth.
- Yellow teeth: Tooth whitening treatments lighten teeth several shades, but sometimes these treatments can't produce the results you want. When you choose veneers, your teeth will be noticeably whiter and resistant to staining.
- Imperfections: Veneers conceal teeth that are too short, too small or oddly shaped.
- Discolorations: Root canal treatment, large fillings and tetracycline side effects can permanently discolor teeth. Veneers conceal the discoloration and help your teeth look more uniform.
Starting the process
Before you can be fitted with veneers, your dentist must file a small amount of enamel from the front of your teeth. This step helps ensure that your veneers will fit well and feel perfectly natural. After your teeth are filed, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth. The impression will be used to create custom-made veneers at a dental laboratory.
The final step
You'll return to your dentist's office when your new veneers are ready. He will verify that the color and fit are perfect before he permanently attaches the veneers to the fronts of your teeth. He'll use a special light that will help bond the cement to the veneers.
Caring for your veneers
You'll continue to floss and brush as usual after you receive your veneers. Abrasive toothpastes should be avoided because they can scratch the surface of the veneers. If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you wear night guards to avoid damaging your veneers.
Interested in learning more about veneers? Call Billerica dentist Dr. Chan of One Dental Care at (978) 667-0691 and schedule an appointment. Enjoy a dazzling smile with veneers!
We now have an amazing repertoire in dentistry to restore the look and function of damaged or missing teeth. From tooth-colored crowns to life-like dental implants, we can turn an embarrassing smile into one you’re confident to show the world.
But what if your teeth are visually unappealing but structurally sound? Perhaps they’re slightly irregular or discolored — do you still need the “heavy artillery” in our arsenal of restoration options?
Not at all — dental veneers that provide amazing aesthetic results with minimal tooth preparation may be an appropriate restoration choice for you. As the name implies, veneers are a thin layer of dental material (usually porcelain) that’s permanently bonded to the outside of a tooth. Veneers can be shaped to resemble natural teeth — especially effective for changing the appearance of small or slightly misshapen teeth — and can be customized to match an individual patient’s tooth color.
Veneered teeth require very little preparation compared to other restorations; still, most veneer applications do require some permanent enamel removal so that the applied veneers appear natural. In recent years, however, changes in veneer design and materials have made it possible for some patients to receive veneers without some tooth prep.
If taken care of properly, veneers can last anywhere from seven to twenty years (in some cases, more). While their material composition and the bonding process can withstand normal biting forces, wearers need to keep in mind porcelain is a form of glass — excessive twisting or pressures from excessive grinding habits could cause them to shatter.
And because veneers are made of an inert, non-living material, they can’t adapt to any changes that may occur biologically to your teeth and gums and may need to be updated at some point in the future. The good news is that a loosened veneer can often be repaired.
If you’d like to know if you’re a good candidate for this cost-effective, minimally invasive option, visit us for an examination. Balancing all the factors, porcelain veneers just may be your answer to achieving a better smile.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers.”