Posts for: February, 2019
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.”
Fans of the legendary rock band Steely Dan received some sad news a few months ago: Co-founder Walter Becker died unexpectedly at the age of 67. The cause of his death was an aggressive form of esophageal cancer. This disease, which is related to oral cancer, may not get as much attention as some others. Yet Becker's name is the latest addition to the list of well-known people whose lives it has cut short—including actor Humphrey Bogart, writer Christopher Hitchens, and TV personality Richard Dawson.
As its name implies, esophageal cancer affects the esophagus: the long, hollow tube that joins the throat to the stomach. Solid and liquid foods taken into the mouth pass through this tube on their way through the digestive system. Worldwide, it is the sixth most common cause of cancer deaths.
Like oral cancer, esophageal cancer generally does not produce obvious symptoms in its early stages. As a result, by the time these diseases are discovered, both types of cancer are most often in their later stages, and often prove difficult to treat successfully. Another similarity is that dentists can play an important role in oral and esophageal cancer detection.
Many people see dentists more often than any other health care professionals—at recommended twice-yearly checkups, for example. During routine examinations, we check the mouth, tongue, neck and throat for possible signs of oral cancer. These may include lumps, swellings, discolorations, and other abnormalities—which, fortunately, are most often harmless. Other symptoms, including persistent coughing or hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and unexplained weight loss, are common to both oral and esophageal cancer. Chest pain, worsening heartburn or indigestion and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can also alert us to the possibility of esophageal cancer.
Cancer may be a scary subject—but early detection and treatment can offer many people the best possible outcome. If you have questions about oral or esophageal cancer, call our office or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Oral Cancer.”
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.