My Dentistry Blog
During his former career as a professional footballer (that's a soccer star to U.S. sports fans) David Beckham was known for his skill at “bending” a soccer ball. His ability to make the ball curve in mid-flight — to avoid a defender or score a goal — led scores of kids to try to “bend it like Beckham.” But just recently, while enjoying a vacation in Canada with his family, “Becks” tried snowboarding for the first time — and in the process, broke one of his front teeth.
Some fans worried that the missing tooth could be a “red card” for Beckham's current modeling career… but fortunately, he headed straight to the dental office as soon as he arrived back in England. Exactly what kind of treatment is needed for a broken tooth? It all depends where the break is and how badly the tooth is damaged.
For a minor crack or chip, cosmetic bonding may offer a quick and effective solution. In this procedure, a composite resin, in a color custom-made to match the tooth, is applied in liquid form and cured (hardened) with a special light. Several layers of bonding material can be applied to re-construct a larger area of missing tooth, and chips that have been saved can sometimes be reattached as well.
When more tooth structure is missing, dental veneers may be the preferred restorative option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells that are bonded to the front surface of the teeth. They can not only correct small chips or cracks, but can also improve the color, spacing, and shape of your teeth.
But if the damage exposes the soft inner pulp of the tooth, root canal treatment will be needed to save the tooth. In this procedure, the inflamed or infected pulp tissue is removed and the tooth sealed against re-infection; if a root canal is not done when needed, the tooth will have an increased risk for extraction in the future. Following a root canal, a tooth is often restored with a crown (cap), which can look good and function well for many years.
Sometimes, a tooth may be knocked completely out of its socket; or, a severely damaged tooth may need to be extracted (removed). In either situation, the best option for restoration is a dental implant. Here, a tiny screw-like device made of titanium metal is inserted into the jaw bone in a minor surgical procedure. Over time, it fuses with the living bone to form a solid anchorage. A lifelike crown is attached, which provides aesthetic appeal and full function for the replacement tooth.
So how's Beckham holding up? According to sources, “David is a trooper and didn't make a fuss. He took it all in his stride." Maybe next time he hits the slopes, he'll heed the advice of dental experts and wear a custom-made mouthguard…
If you have questions about restoring damaged teeth, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Trauma and Nerve Damage to Teeth” and “Children's Dental Concerns and Injuries.”
Replacing a MissingTooth
Implant v. Bridge: What is the better option?
Losing a tooth can be stressful time in your life. Whether you are concerned about having an unsightly gap, or having issues with chewing, the good news is that you now have options in how your tooth can be replaced. Dr. Cherof and Dr. Sayeg are always here to discuss your personal situation and go over these options to help you make the best decision for your future treatment.
In the past, when a tooth was missing or extracted, dentists were limited to fixed bridges to replace a missing tooth and restore function and appearance to your smile. A fixed bridge usually uses the teeth to either side of the missing tooth as abutments which then anchor a false tooth “bridging” to open space.
- The treatment usually only takes 2-3 weeks from start to finish.
- If the surrounding teeth are in need of crowns, this treatment could mean lower costs for your entire treatment plan.
- To use the surrounding teeth as abutments, it is necessary to prepare those teeth as we would for a crown.
- If existing teeth show decay or the porcelain were to fracture anywhere on the bridge, the whole restoration would need to be replaced.
- Can be difficult to keep clean and require extra daily homecare. There is a greater risk of cavities or bone loss because of this.
Implants have revolutionized the way that we approach missing teeth. Now, we can conservatively and predictably replace missing teeth without using other teeth for support. A dental implant involves surgically placing an implant in your jaw where it then integrates with the bone. After a healing period, we then place an abutment in the implant which then supports a crown.
- You treat and clean an implant just as you would a normal tooth.
- Implants have a much longer lifespan than fixed bridges. Also, should one component of the implant fail, only that part would need to be replaced, making them the more long-term economic choice.
- Treatment can take three to six months due to healing time.
- Some people are not good candidates for implants due to their anatomy or health factors.
If you have any further questions, please give our office a call for a complimentary consulation to see if dental implants or a fixed bridge might be right for you (404-255-6782)
Do you feel as though the stains on your teeth affect your entire look? Is your smile a source of anxiety or embarrassment? If so, you may benefit from professional teeth whitening, a fast, effective and easy cosmetic dentistry procedure. Brightening your smile could help you feel great about your smile and the way you look overall. Find out more about professional teeth whitening with Start Smiling Dental in Sandy Springs, GA.
What can I expect at a professional teeth whitening appointment?
Professional whitening appointments last about an hour from start to finish and take place right inside your dentist’s office. The procedure begins with your dentist using a dental dam to section off the teeth from the oral tissues to prevent irritation. Then, your dentist applies a whitening gel to the teeth, where it remains until the end of your treatment session. Depending on the type of whitening system, your dentist may direct a special light at the whitening gel to help with the whitening process. At the end of your appointment, your dentist rinses the gel from the teeth and you can return to your daily activities.
The Benefits of Zoom Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening treatments may require touch-up appointments about once a year to maintain the teeth’s new appearance. However, the boost in confidence that comes with them is enough for many people to seek out treatment and continue with touch-up appointments to maintain their look. Additionally, you can schedule your teeth whitening appointments right alongside your regular dental examinations and cleanings, killing two birds with one stone.
Teeth Whitening Treatments in Sandy Springs, GA
Professional teeth whitening has proven to be a safe and effective cosmetic dentistry procedure. A good candidate for teeth whitening should be in good dental health with no signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Additionally, teeth whitening may not work well for patients with visible porcelain dental restorations like dental veneers or bridges since the whitening agents do not lift the color of porcelain materials.
For more information on teeth whitening, please contact Dr. Mark Sayeg and Dr. Nate Cherof at Start Smiling Dental in Sandy Springs, GA. Call (404) 255-6782 to schedule a teeth whitening session with your dentist today!
While it's possible for a teenager to lose a tooth from decay, it's more common they'll lose one from an accidental knockout. If that happens to your teenager, there are some things you should know to achieve a good outcome.
Our top concern is to preserve the underlying bone following tooth loss. Like other tissues, bone has a life cycle: older cells dissolve and are absorbed by the body (resorption), then replaced by new cells. The biting pressure generated when we chew helps stimulate this growth. But bone around a missing tooth lacks this stimulation and may not keep up with resorption at a healthy rate.
This can cause a person to lose some of the bone around an empty tooth socket. To counteract this, we may place a bone graft at the site. Made of bone minerals, usually from a donor, the graft serves as a scaffold for new bone growth. By preventing significant bone loss we can better ensure success with a future restoration.
Because of its lifelikeness, functionality and durability, dental implants are considered the best of the restoration options that can be considered to replace a missing tooth. But placing an implant during the teen years is problematic because the jaws are still growing. If we place an implant prematurely it will appear to be out of alignment when the jaw fully matures. Better to wait until the jaw finishes development in early adulthood.
In the meantime, there are a couple of temporary options that work well for teens: a removable partial denture (RFP) or a fixed modified bridge. The latter is similar to bridges made for adults, but uses tabs of dental material that bond a prosthetic (false) tooth to the adjacent natural teeth to hold it in place. This alleviates the need to permanently alter the adjacent natural teeth and buy time so that the implant can be placed after growth and development has finished.
And no need to worry about postponing orthodontic treatment in the event of a tooth loss. In most cases we can go ahead with treatment, and may even be able to incorporate a prosthetic tooth into the braces or clear aligners.
It's always unfortunate to lose a tooth, especially from a sudden accident. The good news, though, is that with proper care and attention we can restore your teenager's smile.
If you would like more information on how to treat lost teeth in 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 “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”
Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.
“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…
For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.
When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.
A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.
But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.
Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!
If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
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