Summer is a great time to go outdoors and get your game on—no matter whether your court is set up for tennis or basketball, whether you’re on the diamond or on the greens. Regular physical activity can help you maintain your optimal weight, reduce your risk for certain diseases, and even lower stress levels. But many of our favorite outdoor sports also carry a risk of accidental injury…and frequently this involves injuries to the mouth.
Because they’re front and center, the incisors (front teeth) are the ones most often affected by accidental injuries. While serious damage is relatively rare, chips and cracks are not uncommon. Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of good ways to restore chipped or broken teeth. Which one is best for you depends on exactly what’s wrong—but a procedure called cosmetic bonding is one of the most common ways to repair small to moderate chips where the tooth’s soft pulp isn’t exposed.
In dental bonding, a tooth-colored material is applied directly to the tooth’s surface to fill in the chip or crack. The material itself is a high-tech mixture of tough plastic resins, translucent glass-like fillers, and other substances. Strong, durable and lifelike in appearance, these composite resins can be matched to the natural shade of your teeth.
Bonding is a conservative procedure, meaning that it requires little or no preparation of the tooth. It can be done right in the dental office, often in a single visit and without the need for anesthesia. Unlike porcelain veneers or crowns (caps), it usually doesn’t involve removing significant amounts of healthy tooth structure.
While the results can last for years, bonded restorations aren’t as durable as porcelain veneers or crowns, which are made in a dental laboratory. Bonding also isn’t suitable to repair major damage, or in cases where the tooth’s pulp could become infected; in this situation, you may need a root canal and a crown. However, for moderate chips or cracks, bonding can be an appropriate and economical way to restore your teeth to full function and aesthetic appearance.
Of course, it’s often said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That’s why it’s best to wear a protective mouthguard whenever you’re on the field. We can provide a custom-made mouthguard that’s comfortable to wear and offers maximum protection against dental injury—just ask!
If you have questions about cosmetic bonding or mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
You may be able to slow the aging process with healthy habits but you can’t stop it. Every part of your body will change, including your teeth and gums. And even with great dental hygiene and care, there are at least two aging outcomes you may not be able to avoid: discoloration and tooth wear.
Fortunately though, we have ways to counteract these effects and help you enjoy a much younger-looking smile. These techniques range in complexity and cost, but when tailored to your individual situation they can make a world of difference and restore your confidence in your smile.
Brightening teeth that have yellowed with age can be as simple as undergoing teeth whitening. The bleaching solution in this procedure (performed in the office or at home with a prescribed kit) can minimize enamel staining built up over the years. It can even be performed with some control over the level of desired brightness. Although whitening isn’t permanent, with proper care and regular touch-ups you can keep your youthful, dazzling smile for some time.
Tooth whitening, however, may not be enough in some cases of discoloration. If so, you can gain a bright new smile with porcelain veneers or crowns. A veneer is a thin layer of tooth-colored material bonded to the front of a tooth; a porcelain crown completely covers a tooth and is usually cemented onto it.
Normal tooth wearing can also affect the appearance of older teeth, making them look shorter and with less rounded edges than younger teeth. Veneers and crowns can be utilized for this problem too, as well as enamel shaping with a dental drill to minimize those sharp edges and project a softer, younger appearance. In extreme cases, surgically reshaping the gums can give teeth a longer and a more natural look.
These are just a few of the ways we can address these two aging problems, as well as others like receding gums. Depending on your situation, it’s quite possible we can help you take years off your smile.
People with missing teeth have more replacement options than ever before, including the ever popular but often more expensive dental implant. But there has also been an expansion of choice on the more affordable side of dental restorations. The flexible removable partial denture (RPD) is one such choice.
Though RPDs have been around for some time, the newer flexible RPD offers some advantages over the more rigid traditional RPD. They’re made of a kind of nylon that’s pliable but also strong and durable. This material is thermoplastic, meaning when heated it can be injected into molds based on a patient’s individual mouth to form an accurate denture base. The gum-colored base can also be formed to cover any receded areas of the gums, which can greatly improve smile appearance.
Older versions of RPDs are made of rigid acrylic plastic that stay in place in the mouth with metal clasps that attach to remaining teeth. The flexible RPD, on the other hand, is secured with finger-like nylon extensions that fit and hold in the natural teeth’s concavities near the gum line. This, along with its relatively light weight, offers a more comfortable fit.
But aside from these benefits, flexible RPDs do have a few drawbacks. Although fracture-resistant, they’re not easy to repair or reline to readjust the fit to accommodate mouth changes. They can stain (though not as much as a traditional RPD), so they require diligent cleaning and maintenance.
We consider the whole category of RPDs as “temporary” restorations, meaning they’re intended as a transitional phase between tooth loss and a permanent restoration like a natural tooth-supported fixed bridge or dental implants. For some, however, the flexible RPD might be a more long-term solution. As mentioned before, to extend their life as much as possible they should be removed daily and cleaned thoroughly. And like any form of denture, they should not be worn overnight.
In either case, flexible RPDs offer an effective way to restore not only dental function diminished by missing teeth but an improved appearance as well. With careful maintenance, they could serve you well for some time to come.
If you would like more information on flexible partial dentures, 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 “Flexible Partial Dentures: An Aesthetic Way to Replace Teeth Temporarily.”
What your dentists in Upland want you to know
You know you should visit your dentist, but how often? The truth is you should visit your dentist regularly at least once each year, even if you don’t have dental problems. That’s because dental problems can sneak up on you, sometimes without any signs or symptoms. Dr. Salami and Dr. Abbas at United Dental Care in Upland, CA, want to share the facts about why regular dental visits are so important.
By visiting your dentist regularly, your dentist can diagnose and treat dental issues while they are still small, potentially preventing an expensive dental problem. During your yearly annual check-up, your dentist will take state-of-the-art digital x-rays and perform a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and supporting bone. An oral cancer screening of soft tissue is another important part of your yearly exam.
When you visit your dentist often, you are helping to:
- Reduce or eliminate tooth decay
- Maintain the health of your gums
- Maintain the health of your supporting bone
- Detect and treat any tissue abnormalities like oral cancer
Don’t forget to visit your dental hygienist every six months for a professional dental cleaning. When you schedule regular professional dental cleanings, you are protecting your gums and supporting bone from the destruction caused by gum and periodontal disease. Your hygienist can also show you all the latest tools and provide the most current information on how you can maintain your smile at home.
You need help taking care of your smile, and that’s where regular dental visits come in. Your smile is too important to ignore. The health and beauty of your smile play a vital role in your overall health, self-esteem, and self-confidence.
Remember that regular visits to your dental care professionals can lead to early diagnosis and treatment of potentially major, expensive dental problems. Regular visits will also help you enjoy a pain-free, healthy, beautiful smile for life, so pick up the phone and call Dr. Salami and Dr. Abbas at United Dental Care in Upland, CA, today!
How cosmetic dental services from your dentists in Upland, CA, can make your smile beautiful again
There are many ways cosmetic dental services can help your smile. Cosmetic dentistry combines artistic skill with state-of-the-art materials and techniques to give you a smile you can be proud of. No matter what bothers you about your smile, there is a cosmetic dental service that can make your smile beautiful again. Drs. Salami and Abbas at United Dental Care in Upland, CA, want to share just a few of the many cosmetic dentistry options available at their office.
Types of Cosmetic Dentistry
Professional Dental whitening can turn a dull, aging smile into a dazzling bright smile, easily, quickly, and inexpensively. A professional dental whitening treatment allows you to whiten your smile up to 8 shades whiter, and your beautiful results can last an average of 3 years! At United Dental Care, you can choose from whitening gel/laser treatment performed in the office, or custom-fit whitening trays with whitening gel for you to apply at home.
Dental bonding can repair small cracks, chips, defects, and evidence of wear-and-tear, restoring your teeth to full function and good looks. A dental bonding treatment uses composite, a unique liquid resin that can be expertly shaped and matched to the color of your teeth. The composite is hardened with a high-tech ultraviolet curing light, restoring a strong, hard surface to the damaged area. Dental bonding is a virtually invisible way to rebuild a damaged smile.
Dental veneers can hide major aesthetic issues including cracks, fracture lines, broken teeth, and discolorations. Veneers can change the color and shape of your teeth to give you a uniform, harmonious smile. Veneers are thin sheaths of sparkling porcelain which are cemented on to the front surfaces of your teeth, giving you a flawless smile. You can even close small gaps between your teeth, and cosmetically hide tooth overlap.
It is possible to make your smile beautiful again. The answer is cosmetic dentistry! To explore your cosmetic dentistry options, just call Dr. Salami and Dr. Abbas at United Dental Care in Upland, CA, today!
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