Posts for category: Dental Procedures
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”