We instinctively know when a smile looks normal—and when it doesn't. It could be that something simply looks out of place like crooked teeth. But we might also notice when something is missing—as with one or both of the canine teeth.
The canine teeth align just under the eyes and are recognizable by their pointed ends. When they're missing, the smile looks “incomplete.” But “missing” in this case could mean “invisible”—the teeth are there, but hidden within the gums because they failed to come in properly and became impacted. This often happens on a smaller jaw where other teeth have crowded into the space intended for them.
Fortunately, we may have a remedy, and not just for appearance's sake—any impacted tooth can cause health problems, from gum abscesses to root damage of neighboring teeth. Although this might necessitate their surgical removal, we might also be able to coax them through the gums into better position in the jaw, if they're in a reasonably good position. This could result in both a boost to a patient's oral health and a more normal looking smile.
First, though, a patient will need to undergo a thorough bite evaluation by an orthodontist. Besides pinpointing the impacted teeth's precise location with x-rays or CT technology, an orthodontist will also want to assess the positions and condition of the rest of the teeth. If the conditions are right and there's enough room in the jaw, the orthodontist may recommend drawing the impacted canines into proper alignment in the jaw.
The process starts when an oral surgeon exposes the impacted teeth by surgically cutting through the gum tissue. They then attach a small bracket to the tooth with a tiny metal chain attached, the other end of which is looped over orthodontic hardware attached to other teeth. The tension on the chain by the hardware gradually nudges the teeth downward out of the gums. This is usually done in coordination with other measures to fully correct the bite.
If the procedure is successful, bringing the canines out of impaction reduces the problems those teeth could cause the person's oral health. But just as important, it can restore normality to their smile.
If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”
You could have an unattractive smile because of a chipped tooth or one slightly out of alignment. Or, it could be both of the above, plus some heavy staining to boot. Correcting each flaw individually might require a combination of different methods like orthodontics or porcelain crowns, which can take an extended period of time to complete.
But you may be able to correct numerous smile flaws with just one method—and in no more than a couple of treatment visits. It's called direct veneers.
Unlike regular veneers, direct veneers don't require a dental technician to craft a thin porcelain shell to bond over teeth. Rather, a dentist applies a tooth-colored material called composite resin to the problem teeth and "sculpts" an entirely new look that can correct multiple dental flaws at one time.
The dentist usually begins the process by creating a model ("wax-up") of proposed changes based on physical impressions of the jaw and teeth. Both dentist and patient can study the model and modify it if necessary, when finalizing the treatment plan.
At a subsequent appointment, the dentist prepares the tooth surface for bonding by removing a thin layer of tooth enamel, then shapes the teeth to better accommodate the composite resin. This tooth prep is similar to that done with traditional veneers, so it's permanent—the teeth will require some form of restoration from then on.
After applying an etchant and a bonding agent, the dentist applies the composite resin in small amounts, hardening each layer with a special light before applying the next one. With each subsequent layer, the dentist sculps the composite material to eventually resemble the wax-up model.
After completing the composite application, the dentist then uses hand tools and a dental drill to complete shaping, as well as an abrasive strip between teeth to aid future flossing. After just a few hours, the transformation is complete.
Direct veneers are durable, but not to the same extent as regular veneers or other cosmetic enhancements. They can also pick up stains over time, and may require re-treatment at some point. Still, direct veneers are a cost-effective way to improve the appearance of teeth with multiple flaws that could radically change your smile for the better.
It's been a rough year for all of us, but especially for Simon Cowell. The famous entrepreneur and brutally honest talent judge on American Idol and America's Got Talent underwent emergency back surgery in August after an accident on a new electric bike. But the good news is he's well on his way to recovery—and well enough in October to undergo another, less-stressful, procedure: a smile makeover with dental veneers.
This latest trip to the dentist wasn't Cowell's first experience with the popular restoration, wanting this time to update his smile to more closely resemble what he had when he was younger. He even brought along some older photos for reference.
Veneers aren't exclusive to celebrities like Simon Cowell, as thousands of people who get them every year can attest. These thin wafers of porcelain bonded to teeth can mask a wide range of defects, from chips, wear or discoloration to slight tooth gaps or misalignments. And every veneer is custom-made to match an individual patient's dental dimensions and coloring.
If you're thinking about a smile upgrade, here are a few reasons to consider dental veneers.
More bang for your buck. Compared to other transformative cosmetic options, veneers are relatively affordable, with the cost dependent largely on the extent of your dental needs. Still, dental veneers are an investment that can give long-lasting yields of a more attractive smile and even a completely new look.
Little to no tooth alteration. In most veneer cases, we need only remove a small amount of enamel so the veneers don't appear bulky (the alteration is permanent, though, so you'll need a veneer on the tooth from then on). It's also possible to get “no-prep” veneers requiring little to no alteration.
Durable and long-lasting. Continuing improvements in porcelain and other dental ceramics have led to stronger forms that can better withstand the biting forces your teeth encounter every day. Although you'll still need to be careful biting into hard items, your veneers can last for several years.
Easy to maintain. Veneer cleaning and maintenance is much the same as with natural teeth—daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental cleanings and checkups. Outside of that, you'll need to watch what you chomp down on: Veneers are strong, but not indestructible, and they can break.
As Simon Cowell knows, getting veneers isn't difficult. It starts with an initial visit so we can evaluate your dental health and needs. From there, we can present options on how to update your smile.
If you would like more information about dental veneers, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”
Unfortunately, teeth can suffer from damage or decay and when left untreated, can cause lasting issues. It can be difficult to live with damaged teeth and you may find yourself avoiding certain foods to avoid further damage or pain. Instead of working around a damaged tooth, protect it and restore your smile with a dental crown! Dr. Aliya Khan at Moorestown Smile Center in Moorestown, NJ, can inform you on how dental crowns can help your smile feel healthy again.
How Dental Crowns Can Restore Damaged Teeth
When you’re struggling with a tooth that has gone through severe damage or decay, it’s important to contact your dentist in Moorestown, NJ, sooner rather than later to address the damage and protect your tooth from suffering further trauma. Dental crowns are made to cover your damaged tooth and function just like a natural tooth.
Dental crowns can be made of porcelain, ceramic, or porcelain fused to metal. Porcelain crowns are the best choice for a natural-looking tooth and can be designed to color match the rest of your smile. Crowns cover the entire tooth to the gum line and will help reinforce your biting and chewing ability, allowing you to once again eat anything you like without worry.
First, your dentist will take a mold of your mouth in order to be able to custom design a crown to match the rest of your teeth. Then, your dentist will rid your tooth of any decay and shape your tooth to be able to fit inside the crown. You’ll receive a temporary crown until your permanent crown is created and ready to be attached to your smile. Once your permanent crown is attached, you can once again enjoy life with a healthy smile!
Contact Your Dentist Today!
Stop avoiding the dentist and help strengthen your smile with a dental crown! Contact Dr. Khan at Moorestown Smile Center in Moorestown, NJ, to learn more about dental crowns and if you could benefit from one! Call (856) 638-5266 today!
It’s common for teeth to dull over time and shows signs of yellowing or staining. Luckily, it’s easy to restore your smile with teeth whitening. Your dentist, Dr. Aliya Khan, at Moorestown Smile Center in Moorestown, NJ, can help you understand how teeth whitening can brighten up your teeth, giving you the sparkling smile you’ve always wanted.
How Teeth Whitening Can Help Your Smile
With time, it’s easy for teeth to develop stains from drinking wine, tea, or coffee. Stains can cause your smile to dull, and yellowing can cause the sparkle you once had to fade. Teeth whitening can help brighten up your smile easily and quickly.
Teeth whitening can be done by your dentist in Moorestown, NJ, in-office. Your smile can be whatever shade you want. Your gums will first be covered with a protective barrier and a retractor will pull your lips away from your teeth, helping to ensure the best results. A professional strength whitening gel is applied to your teeth and left on for an hour. When the gel is removed, you should notice immediate results that will continue to develop with time.
You can also whiten your teeth through a take-home kit, though the same results may take some extra time to develop. A mold of your teeth will be made to create trays for your top and bottom teeth. You will fill the trays with a whitening gel at home and place them on your teeth for an hour at a time before removing them.
Contact Your Dentist Today!
If you desire a whiter, brighter smile, professional teeth whitening from your dentist may be the best decision for you. Contact Dr. Khan at Moorestown Smile Center in Moorestown, NJ, today at (856) 638-5266 to schedule an appointment.
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