Posts for category: Dental Procedures
It might not rise to the level of a miracle, but cosmetic dentistry can achieve some amazing outcomes with unattractive teeth. A skilled and experienced dentist can turn "ugly ducklings" into beautiful "swans." And that achievement might not be as in-depth or expensive as you might think, thanks to the increased use of dental materials called composite resins.
Composite resins are pliable, tooth-colored materials we apply directly to tooth surfaces. They're most often used with broken, chipped or misshapen front teeth—the composite material replaces the missing tooth structure.
Composite resins have been around for decades, but haven't been widely used because they didn't have the strength of dental porcelain. In recent years, though, dentists have perfected techniques for bonding and shaping composites to teeth that have increased their durability. With just the right skill and artistry, composites can look like natural teeth.
We can correct many tooth flaws using composite resins right in our office. After roughening up the outer enamel surface of the tooth and performing other steps to aid bonding, we begin applying liquid resins to form a base layer that we then harden with a special light source. We continue to add layers to increase the color depth and shape of the restoration, before finally polishing it to resemble natural teeth.
Composite restorations are ideal for moderate tooth structure loss, but may not be appropriate for heavily worn, previously root canal-treated or fractured teeth. These and other kinds of flaws may require a different solution such as a dental porcelain restoration with veneers or crowns. Where composites can be used, though, they provide an affordable option that doesn't require an outside dental lab for fabrication—we can often perform it in one visit.
If you'd like to consider a composite resin restoration for a less than perfect tooth, see us for a complete examination and consultation. If your situation appears to be compatible for using this particular technique, composite resins could change your smile for the better in just a few minutes.
If you would like more information on how we can improve your smile, 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.”
Dental implants can replace missing and extracted teeth. Whether you need to replace just one tooth or multiple teeth, dental implants are a durable and long-lasting tooth replacement option. When replacing a single tooth, a dental implant can be topped with a dental crown. When replacing multiple teeth, dental implants can be used to support bridgework or overdentures. A dentist can help determine if dental implants are right for you. Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts is your Redlands, CA dentist for dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are hypoallergenic metal screws placed below the gum line. They act as artificial tooth roots by anchoring and supporting dental crowns, bridgework, or overdentures. Dental implants are inserted into the jawbone through a minor surgical procedure. Once the gums have healed from the procedure, the implants can be topped with the appropriate type of replacement teeth. At that point, only the artificial teeth will be visible.
There must be enough bone in the jaw area to support the placement of the dental implants. Your Redlands dentist can utilize x-ray technology to determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants. If so, the dentist can help you decide if dental implants are the right tooth replacement option for you.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer several benefits that extend beyond restoration of your smile. Other benefits of dental implants include providing support for facial muscles, which can sag and droop when teeth are missing and affect the shape of the face; improving speech which can be affected when teeth are missing as the gaps alter tongue placement when talking; and redistributing biting and chewing functions evenly across a full set of teeth, which reduces wear and tear on the teeth that had previously been doing all the work.
Dental implants are a durable and long lasting method for replacing teeth that are missing or have been extracted. A dentist can determine if you are a good candidate for dental implants and help you decide if they are the right choice for you. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Hamrick-Stotts, your Redlands, CA dentist, call the office at (909) 793-9711.
You have a lot of options for replacing missing teeth, from state-of-the-art dental implants to affordable, but effective partial dentures. But if the teeth in question have been missing for a while, you may first have to undergo orthodontic treatment. Here's why.
While they may feel rigid and firm in the jawbone, teeth are actually held in place by periodontal (gum) ligaments. These elastic tissues lie between the teeth and the bone and attach to both with tiny filaments. This mechanism allows the teeth to incrementally move over time in response to biting pressures or other environmental factors.
When a tooth goes missing the teeth on either side of the space naturally move or "drift" into it to help close the gap. This natural occurrence can reduce the space for a restoration if it has gone on for some time. To make room for a new prosthetic (false) tooth, we may have to move the drifted teeth back to where they belong.
If you're thinking metal braces, that is an option—but not the only one. Clear aligners are another way to move teeth if the bite problem (malocclusion) isn't too severe. Aligners are a series of custom-made, clear, plastic trays worn over the teeth. The patient wears each tray, slightly smaller than the previous one in the series, for about two weeks before changing to the next one. The reduction in size gradually moves teeth to their intended target position.
Many adults prefer clear aligners because they're nearly invisible and don't stand out like metal braces. They're removable, so you can take them out for cleaning or for special occasions. And, we can also attach a prosthetic tooth to the tray that temporarily covers the missing tooth space.
Whichever orthodontic treatment you choose, once completed we can then proceed with restoration to permanently replace your missing teeth. While it can be a long process, the end result is a beautiful smile that could last for years to come.
If you would like more information on your dental restoration options, 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 “Straightening a Smile before Replacing Lost Teeth.”
How your dentist in Redlands, CA, can help your smile
You might not think too much about the benefits of laser dentistry, but if you care about your smile, dental lasers are important. The truth is lasers have revolutionized dentistry, making treatment easier and faster, with results that are far better than using traditional, old-school “drilling and filling” technology. Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts in Redlands, CA, uses dental lasers as part of her outstanding dental services.
More about Laser Dentistry
Just consider these important ways laser dentistry can benefit you:
- Lasers are faster than dental handpieces, allowing completion of treatment in less time.
- Lasers are quieter and more comfortable, giving you a more relaxed, enjoyable appointment.
- Lasers are more exact, helping to conserve tooth structure and provide more conservative treatment.
Dental lasers are used in many different areas of dentistry, as well. For example:
- For diagnosis, lasers can detect decay far earlier than conventional methods. That means decay can be treated much earlier, with a smaller filling, and a better outcome for you.
- For soft tissue screening, lasers can detect abnormalities in tissue, lesions, and other evidence of precancerous or cancerous changes. Cancer is best treated in the early stages, and dental lasers make a huge difference.
- For gum and periodontal therapy, lasers can recontour and reshape your gums, giving you a more aesthetically pleasing smile. They can also kill bacteria associated with periodontal disease and aid tissue healing.
- For restorative treatment, lasers are more precise in removing decayed and diseased tooth structure, creating a more intact surface for filling placement. Furthermore, less tooth structure is removed during treatment, minimizing the damage to your tooth.
Dental lasers are the conservative way to practice dentistry. They provide a comfortable, relaxing appointment with minimal downtime for you. For more detailed information about lasers in dentistry, please visit the Laser Dentistry section on the website at https://www.queenofteeth.com/laser-dentist.html
Interested? Give Us a Call!
If you care about your smile and want a more relaxed, easier dental appointment, you owe it to yourself to discover what laser dentistry can do for you. To find out more, call (909) 793-9711 to make an appointment with Dr. Brenna Hamrick-Stotts in Redlands, CA, today!
For chipped, stained, or slightly crooked teeth, dental veneers might be the ideal solution. These thin layers of porcelain bonded directly over the teeth with the perfect blend of color, sizes and shapes, can transform a person’s smile for a relatively modest cost.
But if the teeth belong to a teenager, veneers might not be appropriate. This is because in most cases, we’ll need to remove some of the tooth enamel so that the applied veneers won’t look unnaturally bulky. This alteration is permanent, so the teeth will require some form of restoration from then on.
While not usually a major issue with fully matured adult teeth, it could be with the developing teeth of pre-teens and teens. During childhood and adolescence the tooth’s inner pulp plays an important role in dentin production, and so the pulp chamber is relatively large compared to an adult tooth. This larger size places the pulp closer to the enamel surface than with an adult tooth.
Because of its proximity to the enamel, there’s a greater chance veneer alterations could damage a teenager’s tooth pulp and its nerve bundles. If that happens, we may need to perform a root canal treatment to save the tooth—also not an optimal situation for a developing tooth.
That’s why we need to take into consideration a patient’s age and stage of dental development first, including x-raying the affected teeth to measure the depth of the tooth pulp. If we deem it too risky at the moment, there are other ways to improve dental appearance at least temporarily. This includes whitening externally stained teeth with a bleaching agent, or applying tooth-colored composite resin material to chipped areas. We can also apply a composite material veneer that, although not as durable as traditional porcelain, doesn’t require much if any tooth alteration.
To know your options, have your teenager undergo a thorough dental examination. Your dentist will then be able to discuss with you whether veneers can be safely attempted. And be sure the dentist who may perform the work has experience performing cosmetic procedures on teenagers.
If you would like more information on restoration choices for teenagers, 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 “Veneers for Teenagers.”