Posts for: October, 2017
For over three decades, veneers have helped mask dental imperfections like chipping, staining or gaps and improve the appearance of millions of teeth. As the name implies, this thin layer of porcelain covers a tooth's visible surface and accurately mimics the texture, color and translucence of natural teeth.
Veneers could be just the solution you need for a more attractive smile. But before you begin treatment, be sure you have these 3 essentials in place to ensure a successful outcome.
True expectations. While the transformation of a tooth's appearance with a veneer can be astounding, veneers in general do have their limitations. You need an adequate amount of the tooth's structure present for a veneer to properly adhere — if not, you may need to consider a porcelain crown instead. Likewise, gaps and other misalignments may be too great for a veneer to cover: in that case, you should consider orthodontics. A thorough examination beforehand will determine if veneers are the best option for you.
An artisan team. Every veneer is custom made to match an individual patient's tooth shape and color, handcrafted by a skilled dental technician. There's also an art to the dentist preparing the tooth beforehand and then properly positioning the veneer for bonding to achieve the most attractive result. Be sure, then, that your veneer "team" comes highly recommended by others.
The best materials. The first porcelains were powdered glass ceramics mixed with water to form a paste. Technicians shaped the paste in successive layers and as it oven-cured it took on the beautiful translucence of natural teeth. Unfortunately, this type of porcelain could be brittle and prone to shattering when subjected to heavy biting forces. In recent years, though, we've begun to use ceramics reinforced with other materials like Leucite for added strength. Today, the materials dentists use have much better durability.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 Veneers.”
As if the preteen years didn’t give kids and their parents enough to think about, new oral health concerns loom on the horizon. Along with major changes to the body, brain and emotions, additional risk factors for tooth decay and gum disease appear during adolescence — the period of development starting around age 10 and extending through the teen years that marks the transition from childhood to adulthood.
Even with declining rates of tooth decay across the nation, the cavity rate remains high during adolescence. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 1 in every 5 adolescents has untreated tooth decay. What’s more, the onset of puberty — usually beginning around age 10-11 in girls and 11-12 in boys — brings changes in hormone levels that can affect gum health.
We all have millions of microorganisms in our mouth, representing hundreds of different species of mostly helpful, but some harmful, bacteria. Research has shown that total oral bacteria increases between ages 11 and 14, and new types of bacteria are introduced, including some that are not friendly to teeth and gums. Some unfamiliar microbes trigger an exaggerated inflammatory response to dental plaque, so gum bleeding and sensitivity are experienced by many children in this age group. In fact, “puberty gingivitis,” which peaks around age 11-13, is the most common type of gum disease found during childhood.
A combination of hormones, lifestyle changes and poor oral hygiene habits raises the risk of oral health problems among adolescents. A more independent social life may be accompanied by a change in eating habits and easier access to snacks and beverages that are sugary, acidic (like sports drinks and soda) or full of refined carbohydrates — none of which are tooth-healthy choices. And as children move toward greater independence, parents are less likely to micromanage their children’s personal care, including their oral hygiene routines. Good oral hygiene can keep dental plaque at bay, lowering the chance of having gingivitis and cavities. But let’s face it: Adolescents have a lot to think about, and keeping up with their oral health may not be a priority.
To help your preteen stay on top of their oral health, keep healthy snacks at home for your children and their friends and make sure you are well stocked with supplies such as new toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste. In addition, most preteens (and teens) can benefit from gentle reminders about oral hygiene routines.
For optimal oral health through all stages of life, make sure your preteen keeps up with professional teeth cleanings and exams, and talk with us about whether fluoride treatments or sealants may be appropriate for your child.
For more on your child’s oral health, read “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health” and “Dentistry & Oral Health For Children” in Dear Doctor magazine.
Find out what your oral symptoms are trying to tell you about the health of your smile.
You are dealing with dental pain, but you just want to ignore it. Do you? Well, if you value the health of your smile then you absolutely shouldn’t just ignore a toothache. Our Tampa, FL, periodontist Dr. Maria Torres and endodontist Dr. Alberto Ruiz are here to tell you what might be causing your toothache and why you might just need root canal therapy.
What are the indicators that you might need root canal therapy?
Sure, it’s not always possible to know whether or not you need a root canal, which is why everyone can benefit from visiting their Tampa, FL, dentist every six months for routine care. These routine visits aren’t just meant for people dealing with dental issues. Besides getting a thorough dental cleaning we can also pinpoint problems that you may not even know are happening.
Of course, some people do experience symptoms and it’s important that you know what to look out for if these symptoms do surface since you’ll need to seek dental treatment right away. The first telltale sign that something is wrong is a toothache.
Now, if you experience a toothache you may immediately think to call us. This is the right decision! Of course, some people hope that their dental pain will just go away by itself. This rarely happens. A toothache is usually a warning of decay, trauma or an infection that has reached the dental pulp (a structure within the tooth).
Once the pulp has been damaged in any way it needs to be extracted in order to preserve the structure of the tooth. If a toothache is ignored this can lead to tooth loss or even bone loss.
Besides dental pain, you may also notice sensitivity in the tooth. This sensitivity will often appear when you eat or drink anything that is hot or cold. So, if the next time you take a sip of a steaming cup of coffee or bite into an ice cream cone and your tooth starts to retaliate, this is certainly something to look into right away. While a toothache or tooth sensitivity don’t necessarily mean that you’ll need a root canal, it is possible and will require a checkup.
Don’t let a toothache wreak havoc on your oral health. Turn to the endodontic and periodontic experts in Tampa, FL. Call Endodontics & Periodontics Associates of Tampa Bay right away to get the proper emergency care you need.