Are you dealing with minor cosmetic flaws in your smile? Dental bonding could help.
There are so many things that can affect the overall shape and alignment of our smile as you get older. If one tooth is shorter than the rest or if you have a small gap between your teeth you may be wondering how our Scarsdale, NY, dentist Dr. Jeffrey Pike could help. One simple solution for fixing minimal cosmetic problems is dental bonding.
What is dental bonding?
Sometimes referred to as cosmetic bonding, this procedure uses the same tooth-colored material used to fill a tooth after a cavity to cover minor flaws and imperfections on the surface of your teeth. This resin is designed to look just like real tooth enamel and it bonds with the tooth to improve its overall appearance.
When is dental bonding used?
Bonding is a conservative cosmetic treatment, which means that it won’t be able to handle problems that affect the integrity or health of your tooth. It also won’t be the ideal option for patients with more widespread discolorations or imperfections; however, dental bonding is the perfect solution for minor cracks, chips, discolorations and gaps between teeth. If you have small problems that affect the overall shape, length or color of a tooth then bonding may be right for you.
What goes into getting this cosmetic treatment?
This procedure is extremely quick, simple and easy. It’s performed right here in our office and it’s completely non-invasive. In fact, this is one of the most cost-effective cosmetic treatments our Scarsdale, NY, cosmetic dentist offers.
During bonding, we will first apply a solution to the area of the tooth that is going to receive the bonding resin. This solution will roughen the surface, making it easier for the resin to stick. The solution is rinsed off and the tooth is dried. Next, we will choose the proper shade of resin to match your tooth.
From there, we will apply the resin to the tooth and shape and trim it. Once it’s properly shaped we will harden it to the tooth using a dental light. After a good polish, your smile is ready to go.
If you are looking for a simple way to improve the shape or length of your smile in Scarsdale, NY, then you’ve come to the right place. Our team here at The Scarsdale Dentist has the right cosmetic treatment to give you the smile you want. Call us today to find out if bonding is right for you.
The March 27th game started off pretty well for NBA star Kevin Love. His team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, were coming off a 5-game winning streak as they faced the Miami Heat that night. Less than two minutes into the contest, Love charged in for a shot on Heat center Jordan Mickey—but instead of a basket, he got an elbow in the face that sent him to the floor (and out of the game) with an injury to his mouth.
In pictures from the aftermath, Love’s front tooth seemed clearly out of position. According to the Cavs’ official statement, “Love suffered a front tooth subluxation.” But what exactly does that mean, and how serious is his injury?
The dental term “subluxation” refers to one specific type of luxation injury—a situation where a tooth has become loosened or displaced from its proper location. A subluxation is an injury to tooth-supporting structures such as the periodontal ligament: a stretchy network of fibrous tissue that keeps the tooth in its socket. The affected tooth becomes abnormally loose, but as long as the nerves inside the tooth and the underlying bone have not been damaged, it generally has a favorable prognosis.
Treatment of a subluxation injury may involve correcting the tooth’s position immediately and/or stabilizing the tooth—often by temporarily splinting (joining) it to adjacent teeth—and maintaining a soft diet for a few weeks. This gives the injured tissues a chance to heal and helps the ligament regain proper attachment to the tooth. The condition of tooth’s pulp (soft inner tissue) must also be closely monitored; if it becomes infected, root canal treatment may be needed to preserve the tooth.
So while Kevin Love’s dental dilemma might have looked scary in the pictures, with proper care he has a good chance of keeping the tooth. Significantly, Love acknowledged on Twitter that the damage “…could have been so much worse if I wasn’t protected with [a] mouthguard.”
Love’s injury reminds us that whether they’re played at a big arena, a high school gym or an outdoor court, sports like basketball (as well as baseball, football and many others) have a high potential for facial injuries. That’s why all players should wear a mouthguard whenever they’re in the game. Custom-made mouthguards, available for a reasonable cost at the dental office, are the most comfortable to wear, and offer protection that’s superior to the kind available at big-box retailers.
If you have questions about dental injuries or custom-made mouthguards, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”
A beautiful smile is a balanced smile, especially in regard to your gums. A normal smile usually shows 4 mm or less of gum tissue along with about 10 mm of tooth length. But if your gums show more than that, your smile may seem too gummy. In terms of perceived balance, this could detract from your smile's attractiveness.
Fortunately, you don't have to live with a gummy smile—there are various ways to correct or minimize its effect. First, though, we'll need to determine the underlying cause before deciding on the best treatment. And, there are several possible causes, the obvious being too much gum tissue present. Teeth that appear shorter due to wear or incomplete eruption could also make the gums appear larger.
We may be able to correct these size problems by surgically removing and reshaping excess gum tissues and possibly the underlying bone to reveal more of the teeth. We can also bond composite resins or porcelain veneers to shorter teeth to make them appear larger.
But not all gummy smile problems pertain directly to the teeth and gums; instead, it could be your upper lip moves too far up as you smile (hypermobility). Or, your upper jaw may be too long for your face, which can also cause too much of the gums to show during smiling.
With upper lip hypermobility, we may be able to inhibit the lip muscles' movement temporarily with Botox injections that partially paralyze the muscles (the effect eventually wears off, so this treatment will need to be repeated). A periodontist, an oral surgeon, or a plastic surgeon could also permanently alter the upper lip movement through a surgical procedure. Surgery may also be necessary for an abnormally long upper jaw: orthognathic surgery re-positions the jaw to the skull, which can lessen the amount of gums showing.
If your smile is too gummy, we can transform it. But first, let's find out what the real cause is with a comprehensive dental examination. Once we know, we can better advise you on the best way to bring beautiful balance to your smile.
If you would like more information on improving a gummy 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 “Gummy Smiles.”
If you notice a small sore or a change in the appearance of the tissues inside your mouth, don’t panic. It’s likely a common, minor ailment that appears on a lot of skin surfaces (like the wrists or legs) besides the cheeks, gums, or tongue.
These small sores or lesions are called lichen planus, named so because their coloration and patterns (white, lacy lines) look a lot like lichen that grow on trees or rocks. They’re only similar in appearance to the algae or fungi growing in the forest — these are lesions thought to be a form of auto-immune disease. Although they can affect anyone, they’re more common in women than men and with middle-aged or older people.
Most people aren’t even aware they have the condition, although some can produce itching or mild discomfort. They’re often discovered during dental checkups, and although they’re usually benign, we’ll often consider a biopsy of them to make sure the lesion isn’t a symptom of something more serious.
There currently isn’t a cure for the condition, but it can be managed to reduce symptoms; for most people, the lesions will go away on their own. You may need to avoid spicy or acidic foods like citrus, tomatoes, hot peppers or caffeinated drinks that tend to worsen the symptoms. If chronic stress is a problem, finding ways to reduce it can also help alleviate symptoms as well as quitting tobacco and reducing your alcohol intake.
Our biggest concern is to first assure the lesion isn’t cancerous. Even after confirming it’s not, we still want to keep a close eye on the lesion, so regular monitoring is a good precaution. Just keep up with the basics — good oral hygiene and regular checkups — to ensure you have the most optimum oral health possible.
If you would like more information on lichen planus lesions, 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 “Lichen Planus: Mouth Lesions that are Usually Benign.”
Some people have smile irregularities which don't threaten their oral health and function. Still, these issues may make someone embarrassed to show their smiles publicly. If this sounds like your situation, why not consult The Scarsdale Dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Pike, in Scarsdale, NY? He offers many cosmetic dentistry treatments which radically improve smile aesthetics. One of them is porcelain veneers.
Your best smile
You want to return to the white, even smile you once had. A few chips and some deep stains definitely need correction. During an individualized consultation with Dr. Pike, you can learn how to meet your smile goals.
For defects too large for teeth whitening processes, cosmetic contouring or composite resin bonding, Dr. Pike may suggest smile enhancement with porcelain veneers. Veneers cover defects beautifully, but they do not require substantial enamel reduction the way dental crowns do. In fact, the dentist only removes a thin sliver of hard structure in order to place these customized shells of thin, translucent ceramic.
Do you qualify for porcelain veneers?
You do if you have healthy teeth and gums and wish to disguise flaws such as:
- Small gaps
- Mild crowding
- Odd tooth shape or length
- Dark, intractable stains
- Surface pitting
Dr. Pike will evaluate your smile with visual inspection and X-rays. Then, he'll work up a treatment plan to place veneers which look perfect for your smile width and height, for your overall facial appearance and for your smile preferences. (For instance, some people like their teeth to look more square at the corners while others prefer rounded edges.)
The veneer treatment
It takes three appointments with The Scarsdale Dentist: one for evaluation and treatment planning, one for enamel reduction, oral impressions and placement of temporary veneers, and a third to bond the permanent veneers on your teeth. Dr. Pike uses a strong, tooth-colored cement and hardens it with a curing light. The bonding process actually strengthens the natural enamel besides giving it beautiful shape, shade and texture.
Additionally, your finished veneers are stain- and chip-resistant. However, you should avoid chewing ice and hard foods or tearing packages open with your teeth. Routine flossing and brushing at home, along with your six-month check-ups and cleanings at the office, are a must to maintain the health of your veneers and your smile overall.
Look like you--only better!
The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry praises porcelain veneers for their customized contours, color and realism. Change your smile and your personal outlook with porcelain veneers from Dr. Jeffrey Pike at The Scarsdale Dentist. For more information, call the office at (914) 725-0707.
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