Posts for: March, 2015
Smoking causes far more damage to your mouth than just tooth discoloration or bad breath.
Warnings about tobacco usage are common knowledge - an array of life-threatening cancers are associated with smoking. The entire body can be ravaged by the chemicals contained in tobacco products, including the teeth and the tissues inside the mouth. Read on to learn how tobacco does more than just turn your teeth an unattractive yellow shade from Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring.
More serious than stains
Cigarette smokers are more susceptible to a host of conditions, including all forms of oral problems. It's estimated that 50 percent of adults who smoke have periodontal disease, a chronic disorder that causes the gums to recede and become inflamed. Because tobacco lowers the effectiveness of the body's immune system, treating gum disease with conventional methods may not work as well for smokers. However, left untreated, periodontal disease can result in tooth and bone loss. In fact, smokers are twice as likely to have missing teeth than those who do not smoke.
No smoke is no safer
Cigarettes are not the only tobacco product that devastate your oral health. Cancers of the mouth, including the cheeks, gums, and inside of the lips, are linked with the use of snuff or chewing tobacco. Those who use these "smokeless" products are a staggering 50 times more likely to develop the associated cancers than those who have never used them. These tobacco items are also abrasive, causing the protective enamel of the teeth to wear away over time.
Quitting is key
If you've recently quit smoking, congratulations! Your body has already started the process of healing itself. The remaining stains on your teeth can be an unpleasant reminder of your former habit, but in many cases, they are easily resolved in just one in-office whitening treatment at Colesville Dentistry in Silver Spring. If you're experiencing other problems that smoking or chewing may have caused, these can be addressed by the staff as well. Call today to make an appointment that will help you stay on the road to recovery!
Martha Stewart has built a flourishing career by showcasing the things she’s designed and made — like floral arrangements, crafts, and even home renovations. Just recently, she was showing off her latest restoration project: a new dental bridge. In fact, she live-tweeted the procedure from her dentist’s office… and she even included pictures of the bridgework before it was placed on her teeth!
OK, it’s a departure from paper crafts and home-made pillows… but why not? We can’t help feeling that there’s just as much craftsmanship — even artistry — in dental bridgework as there is in many other custom-made items. If you learn a little more about what goes into making and placing bridgework, perhaps you’ll understand why we feel that way.
Bridgework is one good solution to the problem of missing teeth (another is dental implants). A fixed bridge is anchored to existing teeth on either side of the gap left by missing teeth, and it uses those healthy teeth to support one or more lifelike replacement teeth. How does it work?
Fabricated as a single unit, the bridge consists of one or more crowns (caps) on either end that will be bonded or cemented to the existing teeth, plus a number of prosthetic teeth in the middle. The solid attachment of the crowns to the healthy teeth keeps the bridge in place; they support the artificial teeth in between, and let them function properly in the bite.
Here’s where some of the artistry comes in: Every piece of bridgework is custom-made for each individual patient. It matches not only their dental anatomy, but also the shape and shade of their natural teeth. Most bridges are made in dental laboratories from models of an individual’s teeth — but some dental offices have their own mini-labs, capable of fabricating quality bridgework quickly and accurately. No matter where they are made, lifelike and perfect-fitting bridges reflect the craftsmanship of skilled lab technicians using high-tech equipment.
Once it is made, bridgework must be properly placed on your teeth. That’s another job that requires a combination of art and science — and it’s one we’re experts at. From creating accurate models of your mouth to making sure the new bridge works well with your bite, we take pride in the work we do… and it shows in your smile.
If you would like more information about dental bridges, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Fixed vs. Removable Bridges” and “Dental Implants vs. Bridgework.”
With its life-like color and texture, dental porcelain can restore a smile marred by decayed or damaged teeth. This durable ceramic material not only matches the varieties of individual tooth colors and hues, its translucence mimics the appearance of natural teeth. But perhaps its greatest benefit is its adaptability for use in a number of different applications, particularly veneers and crowns.
Veneers are thin layers of dental porcelain laminated together and permanently bonded to cover the visible outer side of a tooth to improve its appearance. Crowns, on the other hand, are “caps” of dental porcelain designed to completely cover a defective tooth.
Veneers and crowns share a number of similarities. Both can alter the color and shape of teeth, although crowns are used when more extensive tooth structure has been damaged. They’re also “irreversible,” meaning the tooth must be altered in such a way that it will always require a veneer or crown, though on some occasions a veneer can require no removal of tooth structure and can be reversible.
They do, however, have some differences as to the type of situation they address. Veneers are generally used where the affected teeth have a poor appearance (chipped, malformed or stained, for example) but are still structurally healthy. And although they do generally require some removal of tooth enamel to accommodate them (to minimize a “bulky” appearance), the reduction is much less than for a crown.
Crowns, on the other hand, restore teeth that have lost significant structure from disease, injury, stress-related grinding habits or the wearing effects of aging. Since they must contain enough mass to stand up to the normal biting forces a tooth must endure, a significant amount of the original tooth structure must be removed to accommodate them.
Which application we use will depend upon a thorough examination of your teeth. Once we’ve determined their condition and what you need, we can then recommend the best application for your situation. But regardless of whether we install a veneer or crown, using dental porcelain can help achieve an end result that’s truly life-changing — a new, younger-looking smile.
If you would like more information on dental porcelain restorations, 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 Crowns & Veneers.”