Tooth whitening, or bleaching, is a method in which your teeth are made several shades brighter through a process of bleaching with special gels. Bleaching could put a brighter smile in your life and give your self-confidence a boost.
Is Bleaching for Me? Bleaching is tough on stains, but gentle on your teeth. It can remove many stains that are in the outer layers of the tooth. If your teeth have yellowed with age or stained from tobacco, tea, coffee or food, bleaching may restore their natural whiteness. Antibiotic (tetracycline) stains and discoloration caused by an injury may take longer to bleach and not respond as well. Bleaching will not change the color of fillings and crowns, and it’s not advised if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
How Is Bleaching Done? Bleaching is a simple process that you do at home – following our instructions. First we’ll examine your teeth, then molds are made of your teeth, and finally you’re given your bleaching trays and gel. How long home bleaching takes depends on the method and the gel.
What to Expect You’ll probably notice that your teeth begin to look whiter within a few days. Some teeth can be harder to bleach than others. You can discuss the results at your follow-up visit.
Checking the Results After you've bleached your teeth for the recommended time, the dentist or a trained staff person will check your teeth and discuss the results with you. Do not continue daily bleaching unless you're told to, or you may overbleach your teeth. To help keep your teeth whiter, your dentist may recommend touch-up treatments from time to time. Be sure to follow instructions for how often and how long to do these treatments.
Root canal treatments generally involve one or more visits. There are several steps in the process of endodontic treatment that we will perform. At various stages, your follow-up will be needed to help ensure a successful outcome.
Steps For Saving the Tooth
First, local anesthesia is usually given so that you will be more comfortable during treatment. Then, an opening is made through the crown of the tooth into the pulp chamber.
The pulp or its remnants are then removed carefully from both the pulp chamber and root canal(s). The root canal(s) is cleaned and shaped to a form that can be filled.
Medication may be put in the pulp chamber and root canal(s) to help eliminate bacteria.
A temporary filling will be placed in the crown opening to prevent saliva from getting into the chamber and root canals. You might also be given antibiotics if infection is present and has spread beyond the end of the root(s).
During the next stage of treatment, the temporary filling is removed. The root canal(s) are filled with a biocompatible material, usually gutta-percha, and then sealed.
In the final step, a crown made of porcelain or metal alloy is usually placed over the tooth. The crown covers a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. Its purpose is to strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance.
How long will the restored tooth last? As long as the root(s) of a treated tooth is nourshed by the tissues around it , your tooth can remain healthy. However, the tooth could still become decayed, so good oral hygiene at home and regular dental exams are necessary to help prevent both tooth decay and peridontal (gum) disease.
Missing teeth may affect the way you chew and speak. Chewing on only one side may cause stress to your mouth. You also need your teeth to speak properly, since they help you make the many sounds needed in speech.
In addition, the gum tissues and the bone that hold teeth in place can break down, increasing the risk of gum disease.
If you need extensive fixed bridge work, your dentist will provide treatment or refer you to a prosthodontist. A prosthodontist is a specialist trained in restoring natural teeth and in replacing missing teeth.
How is a Bridge Attached? A fixed bridge is commonly cemented to the natural teeth next to the space by the left missing tooth. A false tooth (called a pontic) replaces the lost tooth. The pontic is attached to the crowns (restorations that cover a tooth). Crowns, which are cemented onto the natural teeth, provide support for the bridge.
Are There Different Types of Bridges? Yes. Implants attach artificial teeth directly onto the jaw or under the gum tissue. Because they require surgery, candidates for implants should have good natural health and have adequate bone to place an implant
How Do I Know If Implants Are Right For Me? If you are considering implants, a thorough evalutaion by your dentist will help determine if you would be a good candidate. This evaluation includes a clinical examination and a complete dental and medical history to gather information about any dental and medical conditions that you have, such as diabetes, heart problems or any condition that interferees with normal healing. be sure to tell the dentist about any allergies you have or any preescription or over-the-counter medications that you take. If necessary, the dentist may request a consultation with a physician.
What Is Involved In Placing Implants? Implants costs significantly more than dentures or bridges and require a considerable investment of time. The implant process involves several steps and may take up to nine months to complete.
What Are The Benefits and Risks? Implants provide artificial teeth that look more natural. Many people also report that whne they chew, the implants feel more secure and more like natural teeth. People who cannot succesfully use conventional dentures or people who need an alternative to removable partial dentures may be candidates for implants.
Periodontal (gum) disease is a condition in which bacteria attack the tissues that surround and support teeth. Simply put, it is an infection that can result in tooth loss if not treated. Because it is often painless, you may not be aware that you have a problem until your gums and bone are seriously affected. The good news is that periodontal diseases often can be treated in the early stages with a treatment called scaling and root planing.
Diagnosing Periodontal Disease
Prevention and Treatment The first line of defense is prevention. This includes a good oral hygiene at home. Brushing twice daily and a cleaning between teeth with floss or an interdental cleaner helps prevent plaque from accumulating.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are important in preventing periodontal diseases. If these measures are not taken, the likelihood of disease increases. In some cases, even with these measures, a certain percentage of patients experience some form of periodontal disease that must be treated.
When we diagnose periodontal disease, one of the treatments is scaling and root planing. Depending on the extent of the disease, we may recommend that one or more sections (quadrants) of the mouth be treated. Treatment may require one or more visits.
Scaling is used to remove plaque and tarter beneath the gumline. A local anesthetic may be given to reduce any discomfort. Using a small scaler or ultrasonic cleaner, plaque and tartar are carefully removed down to the bottom of each periodontal pocket. The tooth’s root surfaces are then smoothed or planed to allow the gum tissue to heal and reattach to the tooth. A topical antibiotic can be used to help control the infected areas. The topical antibiotic we use is Arestin.