Posts for: November, 2016
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Sports and energy drinks — two different types of popular beverages. But though different they have one thing in common: they can both wreak havoc on your tooth enamel.
That's because each contains high concentrations of acid. And acid is tooth enamel's mortal enemy — prolonged exposure with it causes the minerals in enamel to soften and erode, a process called de-mineralization.
Demineralization becomes even more pronounced when the mouth's pH levels fall below 4.0 into the acidic range. A sampling of various brands of sports and energy drinks reveal mean pH levels below even that threshold. Energy drinks are especially harmful to enamel because the type of acid they contain is more concentrated.
So, what can you do to minimize this threat to your dental health? The optimal thing to do is avoid such beverages altogether, especially energy drinks. If you currently re-hydrate after hard work or exercise with sports drinks, consider switching to water, nature's hydrator.
If you do, however, continue to drink these beverages, then follow a few precautions to lessen the acidic levels in your mouth:
Wait until mealtimes. Saliva is your body's way of neutralizing acid in your mouth, but it takes about 30 to 60 minutes for it to fully buffer acid. If you're sipping between meals on acidic beverages, saliva can't keep up. So, wait until you eat or limit your sipping time on a drink.
Rinse with water. Since water's pH is neutral, swishing some in your mouth right after drinking a sports or energy drink will help reduce acidity.
Wait an hour to brush. Your enamel will begin demineralizing as soon as it encounters acid. If you brush right away you could be sloughing off miniscule amounts of softened minerals. By waiting an hour you give your saliva time to buffer and help re-mineralize the enamel.
Although popular, especially among teenagers and young adults, overindulgence in sports and energy drinks could damage your teeth and increase your risk for tooth decay. With a little moderation and common sense, you can keep your enamel strong and healthy.
If you would like more information on the effects of sports and energy drinks on dental health, 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 “Think Before you Drink.”
Discover all that porcelain veneers can offer your smile to improve its appearance.
It can be frustrating to know that your smile contains cracks, nasty stains or even gaps between your teeth. Maybe your teeth have you embarrassed to even smile in public. If this sounds like you, it’s time you turned to our Stamford, CT dentists, Dr. Irina Pogosian and Dr. Thomas Ohlson, to find out how dental veneers could possibly help.
How can veneers help my smile?
The dental veneers we offer here in Stamford are made from thin layers of porcelain. These porcelain shells are bonded to the front of your teeth to completely revamp the size, shape and color of your smile.
What are the benefits to getting porcelain veneers?
There is a reason so many people are turning to veneers to give them a better-looking smile. Porcelain is extremely durable and long lasting. With the proper care veneers can last up to 15 or even 20 years. Porcelain veneers are also stain resistant. This means that you can still enjoy your morning cup of coffee or that glass of red wine with dinner without worrying about your veneers.
Veneers can also be used to fix a variety of different dental problems to give you a smile you’ll actually be proud of. Veneers can be used to hide:
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are too small
- Uneven teeth
- Worn teeth
- Teeth that are cracked, chipped or broken
- Gaps between two teeth
- Minor overlapping of teeth
If you are dealing with any of these issues dental veneers can help!
How are veneers placed?
Another benefit to choosing veneers is that you can easily get these restorations without the need for serious or invasive cosmetic dentistry. While teeth will need to be prepared for your veneers, preparation is minimal and painless. In fact, when we shave off some of the enamel from your teeth the removal process is so minor that it is often performed without even needing anesthesia.
Impressions are also taken of your smile so that a dental lab can make your very own custom set of veneers. Each veneer is perfectly shaped to fit your teeth and no one else’s. Once your veneers are made you will come in so that we can permanently bond them to your teeth. You’ll leave our office with a brand new smile!
Let Comprehensive Dental Group give you the smile makeover you’ve always wanted. If you are interested in getting dental veneers in Stamford, CT, it’s time you booked a consultation with us to find out if veneers are right for you. Get a smile you can be proud of!