How Durable are Porcelain Veneers?

03-27-2012_durable-veneers

Porcelain veneers are probably the most versatile treatment option a cosmetic dentist has to offer. The thin tooth-shaped shells can be used to conceal a variety of flaws, from chips to cracks to gaps.

Veneers can also help to brighten severely stained teeth or straighten out a stretch of misaligned ones.

Patients gain a number of benefits when they choose veneers to improve a smile’s appearance.

Most notably, veneers will last patients for years. Although they are made of porcelain, a material that is typically associated with fragility, they are quite durable. Veneers are bonded to the teeth using a sturdy dental cement that will hold them in place.

When cared for properly, veneers can last for up to a decade. Patients should be sure to brush and floss as recommended to achieve the maximum longevity from their veneers. This will help to keep the mouth clean and free of bacteria that can damage the teeth and compromise the veneers.

Additionally, patients who have veneers may want to avoid biting directly into particularly hard items to protect the veneer.

Although veneers are long-lasting, the process of placing them is speedy. Veneers achieve the desired effect with a minimal time commitment on the patient’s part. Patients only have to wait a matter of weeks before enjoying brand-new smiles.

The process of placing veneers takes place over just two office visits. At the first appointment, the dentist will collect information that will be used in the treatment planning process. That information is then forwarded to the lab that will create the devices.

After the veneers have been crafted by the lab, the patient returns for the second visit. At that time, the dentist makes any final adjustments to the shape or shade of the veneers then bonds them to the teeth.

Veneers can transform your smile for years to come. If you want a long-lasting method for improving upon your pearly whites, contact our office, serving Hurst TX, for more information on this treatment option.

Restorative Dentistry: The benefits of tooth-colored fillings

Tooth decay is a serious problem that can contribute to further complications, such as tooth loss and gum disease. When patients show signs of tooth decay, it’s important to have those cavities filled early while they are still small and manageable.

A cosmetic dentist may recommend that tooth-colored fillings be used in treating cavities for a number of reasons.

Patients have a number of choices when it comes to fillings. Older materials like amalgam, or silver, fillings have been used for decades and some patients continue to use them. Others opt for fillings made of more modern composite materials made of resin and glass, which can match the natural shade of the teeth.

A cosmetic dentist may recommend that tooth-colored fillings be used in treating cavities for a number of reasons. First and foremost, composite fillings are more attractive than their counterparts. Silver fillings tend to be prominent in the mouth, while tooth-colored fillings are barely noticeable.

At the same time, composite fillings form a more solid bond with the tooth’s enamel. This quality helps the cosmetic dentist preserve more of the natural tooth material in filling the cavity because less enamel has to be removed to accommodate the filling.

Composite materials also typically last longer. They’re more durable, which means that patients with tooth-colored fillings are less likely to need replacement fillings. Also, composites do not expand and contract to the same degree as amalgam materials, reducing the chance that the tooth will be cracked by a composite filling.

Some patients have concerns about the potential side effects of amalgam fillings, too. One of the metals contained in silver fillings is mercury, which is known to have toxic effects, so patients may want to avoid it in their fillings.

Because of the advantages of tooth-colored fillings, some patients may visit a cosmetic dentist to have their existing silver fillings replaced. If an existing amalgam filling has deteriorated or broken, it may be a good idea to have that filling carefully removed and replaced to limit your exposure to mercury’s potentially toxic effects.

If you need to have a cavity filled in the Bedford area, talk with our experienced team at Anderson Dentistry about your options to make a well-informed treatment decision. Call 817-485-2111 to schedule your consultation.

Treating Dental Trauma to Permanent Teeth

03-05-2012_dental-trauma

Your permanent teeth are intended to last for your entire life, and with proper care your teeth can indeed be enduring.

However, some patients inevitably will encounter some sort of dental trauma that has the potential to reduce the longevity of the teeth. Whether the trauma occurs in the form of an accident or dental disease, it’s important to seek treatment from a dentist to reduce pain and complications.

Depending on the extent of the injury or disease, your dentist may attempt to save the tooth. For example, a root canal followed by a crown can help preserve a tooth that is compromised following a hit to the mouth.

The best case scenario is for the patient to keep the biological tooth, although that may not be possible in all situations.

Although the dentist may intervene to save the tooth in some cases, other patients have such extensive damage from dental trauma that the tooth must be removed.

If the tooth is nearly dislodged from its socket or if decay has progressed to the point that the tooth is structurally compromised, the patient may be better off having the biological tooth removed and exploring tooth replacement options.

Even if a dentist has previously placed a restoration, such as a crown, on a tooth, that restoration may eventually fail and require an extraction.

Deciding whether to save the tooth or have it extracted is truly a personal choice that will be different for each individual patient. Ideally, the patient will have time to consult with a dentist and carefully consider how to proceed.

When faced with emergencies, however, patients often must make decisions quickly. In an urgent situation, make every effort to get care from a dentist you trust so that you can feel comfortable with the recommended treatment plan.

If a dentist is not able to save a tooth, it’s important to begin planning for the tooth’s replacement as soon as possible. Early treatment in such cases may lead to better outcomes.

To learn more about your options, please contact Anderson Dentistry, serving Colleyville TX, to schedule your consultation.