FAQ'S

 

1. How can I make my teeth whiter?
2. I have a lot of metal fillings in my mouth, is there a way to make them less obvious?
3. Can I fix my overcrowded teeth?
4. Can I afford to fix my smile?
5. What is gum disease?
6. What is Plaque?
7. What causes tooth discoloration?


1. How can I make my teeth whiter?

There are several teeth whitening methods on the market to give you a brighter, whiter smile. Take home teeth whitening trays are an easy and common method for bleaching stains from your teeth. Custom made teeth whitening trays are made in the dental office and taken home where a bleaching gel is delivered directly to the tooth surface via the trays. In office laser teeth whitening or Power Bleaching is another effective way to lighten severely stained teeth. The procedure is performed in the dental office where a concentrated bleaching gel is placed on your teeth by your dentist and activated by heat or a light source.


2. I have a lot of metal fillings in my mouth, is there a way to make them less obvious?

Metal fillings can be replaced with a natural tooth-colored filling made of composite materials that match your existing tooth color. Not only are composite materials strong and durable, they are aesthetically pleasing. Making the decision to switch to tooth-colored composite fillings is easy and can usually be done within one visit to your dentist.


3. Can I fix my overcrowded teeth?

Many adult patients are reluctant to wear braces feeling that they are awkward and uncomfortable. Immediate results however can be achieved with porcelain veneers or crowns. In as little as two dental visits, overcrowded teeth can be corrected with the right cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers and crowns are a quick and natural alternative to traditional Orthodontic treatments.
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4. Can I afford to fix my smile?

The cost of cosmetic dental work varies with case to case. Not all cosmetic dentists’ are the same, like any service, important factors such as quality, experience, environment and customer care are considered when determining costs of cosmetic dental work. Investing in cosmetic dentistry is an investment in you. Cosmetic dentistry can improve your dental health and appearance, increasing confidence and changing your life.


5. What is gum disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease is caused by the chronic build-up of plaque around your teeth. The plaque is an accumulation of bacteria that causes inflammation of the gums and if left untreated can lead to tooth loss. With time, plaque can spread and grow below the gum line causing periodontal gum disease. Toxins produced by the bacteria in plaque irritate the gums. The toxins stimulate a chronic inflammatory response in which the body in essence turns on itself, and the tissues and bone that support the teeth are broken down and destroyed. Gums separate from the teeth, forming pockets (spaces between the teeth and gums) that become infected. As the periodontal disease progresses, the pockets deepen and more gum tissue and bone are destroyed. Often, this destructive process has very mild symptoms. Eventually, teeth can become loose and may have to be removed (www.perio.org).

Porcelain Veneers
What are the signs of periodontal (gum) disease?
If you notice any of the following signs of periodontal (gum) disease, see your dentist immediately:
· Gums that bleed when you brush your teeth.
· Red, swollen or tender gums.
· Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
· Bad breath that doesn't go away.
· Pus or discharge between your teeth and gums.
· Loose teeth.
· Change in how your teeth fit together when you bite.
· Change in the fit of partial dentures.
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6. What is Plaque?

Dental Plaque is bacteria that accumulate at the gum line in the absence of daily removal by brushing and flossing. If routine cleanings and daily maintenance is not followed, dental plaque can cause the gum tissues to become inflamed. Inflamed gums are red and swollen and easily bleed with brushing or flossing. Dental plaque can be removed by correctly brushing your gum line, and the use of dental floss helps to remove plaque that has built up between your teeth and in hard to reach places.


7. What causes tooth discoloration?

Tooth discoloration varies in appearance, cause, severity, position and adherence to the teeth. Intrinsic (internal) tooth discoloration is caused by changes in the structure of enamel or dentine or by incorporation of chromogenic (color generating) material into tooth tissue, either during tooth formation or after eruption. Wear of teeth, thickening of dentin due to aging or as a consequence of pulp inflammation affect the light-transmitting properties of enamel and dentin, resulting in a gradual tooth discoloration.

Aging results in changes in the mineral structure of the tooth; the enamel, the outer covering loses its beautiful and youthful translucency, becoming less porous; and the underlying dentin, which forms the body of the teeth, thickens and becomes more yellow. Intrinsic tooth discoloration is also caused by exposure to high levels of fluoride, tetracycline antibiotic administration during childhood, inherited developmental disorders and jaundice in childhood. After eruption, tooth decay, restorations, pulp death (root canal problems) and trauma to developing teeth, are the main causes of intrinsic discoloration.

Extrinsic tooth staining mainly results from dietary factors and smoking; foods containing tannins such as red wine, coffee and tea can give rise to extrinsic stain. Carotenes, pigments in oranges and carrots, and tobacco use, whether it is smoking or chewing, also give rise to extrinsic tooth staining.
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South End Dental Associates