Posts for: February, 2020
Do you desire a beautiful smile but shrink from conventional metal braces? Here at Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, your dentists offer Invisalign clear aligners. These acrylic mouthpieces correct all kinds of orthodontic problems quickly, reliably, and best of all, discreetly. Here's how it all works:
Developed in the 1990s, the Invisalign orthodontic system uses customized acrylic trays to straighten smile problems such as:
- Crowded and overlapping teeth
- Overbite and other bite problems
- Tooth twists and tipping
- Protruding front teeth
Designed with computerized technology, the aligners exert gentle compression and tension on your teeth and the underlying bone. In less than half the treatment time of traditional braces, Invisalign creates excellent smile aesthetics and long-term oral health. Additionally, patients can remove their aligners to eat, brush, and floss, making their daily routines simple and easy.
Monthly check-ups ensure treatment progresses on time. Typically, patients wear 18 to 30 aligners pairs for two weeks each. In the end, they use a removable or bonded on retainer so smiles stay in the perfect position for life.
Your Andover, MA, dentist recommends Invisalign aligners because of:
- Their discreet appearance and ultra-smooth texture
- Ease of oral hygiene and appliance care
- Few to no dietary restrictions
- Precision treatment plans
- Predictable and long-lasting results
- Excellent patient compliance
- Versatility (they treat a wide array of problems)
- Easy clean-up (just remove, brush, floss, and clean the appliances with a mild toothpaste and clear water)
- Bruxism protection (if you grind or clench your teeth)
At Dentistry by Design in Andover, MA, your team of four expert dentists help patients decide if Invisalign aligners are right for their situations. To discover if you qualify for this treatment option, call us for a consultation, and be on your way to improved personal appearance, confidence, and oral health. Phone (978) 475-5333 today.
As tough as teeth are, life can take its toll on them and sometimes lead to parts of them chipping off. Although it might not affect a tooth's overall health, it can certainly downgrade its appearance.
But we can restore a chipped tooth like new, and it may not require extensive dental work. Thanks to a versatile dental material called composite resin, we can often bring back a tooth's natural appearance in just one visit.
Tooth-colored resins have been around for decades, but their application has been limited due to issues with durability. Recently developed bonding techniques, though, have made them a workable option for restoring mild to moderate tooth defects.
We do this by applying and bonding the composite resin to a tooth to “fill in” the missing portion. While it's often a short process, it does require a thorough understanding of tooth anatomy, function and aesthetics.
We begin with a comprehensive exam to assess the true condition of a chipped tooth. Some dental defects might be better served with a porcelain restoration like a veneer or crown for best results. Still, there are a wide range of defects for which composite resins is a solid repair choice.
Once we've determined bonding is appropriate, we prepare the tooth by first roughening its outer surface and then etching it with an acid solution to increase bonding strength. We then apply a luting agent, a kind of dental cement, also to aid with bonding.
We then begin applying the composite resin in liquid form, one layer at a time. This layering process helps simulate the color depth and shape of the tooth, and to further incorporate strength into the restoration. We're also careful at this point to match the variations of color with those of the surrounding teeth so that it looks as natural as possible.
As we finish each layer, we apply a curing light to harden the resin. We can then polish the finished product and make adjustments for the bite. The end result is a tooth that not only looks whole, but natural and blended with the rest of your teeth. Bonding could truly change your smile in just one visit.
If you would like more information on cosmetic dental 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 “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
In the world of movies and television, the lead actors get the lion’s share of the credit. In reality, though, there wouldn’t be much of a show without the supporting cast. You’ll find a similar situation in your mouth: While your teeth get most of the attention, another dental structure plays a critical supporting role—your gums.
It’s only fitting, then, that we put the spotlight on your gums, especially in February. The second month of the year is Gum Disease Awareness Month, when we highlight the importance of our gums and the dangers they face.
While the gums are an important part of your smile, they’re not just for show. Your gums play a critical role in helping to keep your teeth securely attached within the jaw. Their network of blood vessels also supplies nutrients and disease-fighting agents to your teeth. We’re not exaggerating, then, when we say your teeth can’t survive without them.
But although they’re resilient, they do have one major vulnerability: a bacterial infection known as periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease arises from bacteria that thrive within a thin, built-up film of bacteria and food particles called dental plaque. Untreated, an infection can advance deep into the gums, down to the tooth roots and jawbone.
Gum disease is as much a problem for your teeth as it is for your gums: Weakened gum attachment and loss of bone can put your teeth in danger of being lost. Fortunately, though, there are things you can do to keep gum disease from ruining your dental health.
Brush and floss. To prevent a gum infection, you must keep plaque from building up on your teeth. The best way is a combination of thorough brushing and flossing. Don’t neglect the latter, which is necessary to remove hard-to-reach plaque between teeth. And do it every day—it doesn’t take long for a gum infection to occur.
Get your teeth cleaned. Even the most diligent hygiene practice may still miss some plaque and its hardened form calculus (tartar). These stubborn deposits, though, are no match for our dental cleaning equipment and techniques. Semi-annual visits are also a good time to evaluate your overall dental health, including your gums.
See us at the first sign of infection. Gum disease is often symptomless, especially in the beginning. But there are signs to look for like gum swelling, redness or bleeding. If you notice any of these, see us as soon as possible. The sooner you begin treatment, the less harm the disease will cause.
Taking care of your gums isn’t just good for your dental health—it’s good for your overall health and well-being. It also doesn’t hurt that your gums are good for your appearance as an important part of a beautiful smile.
If you would like more information about gum disease prevention and treatment, please contact us or schedule a consultation.