Posts for: November, 2017
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.”
You've decided. You are going to pursue a straight smile through one of today's most innovative and discreet orthodontic systems: Invisalign clear aligners. Dr. Jeffrey Pike, The Scarsdale Dentist, offers Invisalign to Westchester patients who have a wide variety of smile problems. Chances are good that your smile qualifies for the quickest, easiest and best of all, invisible, orthodontic system.
Details on Invisalign in Westchester
Invisalign aligners are customized orthodontic appliances which resemble professional teeth whitening trays--except that these innovative braces are practically invisible. Removable, comfortable and non-irritating, the acrylic appliances fit over the top and bottom teeth and are changed out every two weeks or so according to the patient's care plan.
To plan treatment, Dr. Pike performs an oral exam and takes digital X-rays , photos and three-dimensional imaging. Using the doctor's instructions, the Invisalign lab fabricates the 18 to 30 appliances needed to change crooked teeth into a smile that is more attractive, better functioning, healthier and easier to clean.
While very complicated bite and alignment issues still need conventional metal braces, Invisalign treats a wide array of mild to moderate smile issues such as overbite, under bite, cross bite, open bite, tooth tipping, gaps, crowding and more. So if you're an adult or older teen who's looking for a change but you don't want the whole world to know about it, then Invisalign in Westchester may be your solution.
Wearing Invisalign aligners
Dr. Pike will ask you to wear your aligner pairs a full 20 to 22 hours a day so that your treatment progresses toward its goal in a timely way. You'll also see The Scarsdale Dentist every four to six weeks so he can check your progress, discuss any concerns you have and give you the next aligner pairs in your plan.
Daily, you'll remove your aligners to brush and floss, to clean your aligners with warm water and a non-abrasive toothpaste and to eat your meals and snacks as usual. Also, if you have something important happening, such as a job interview or family event, you may remove your aligners.
At the end of treatment
Typical Invisalign cases take an average of 15 months to complete. That's quite different from conventional braces which can take two years or more to change a smile. When your treatment plan is over, you'll wear a retainer to keep your new smile properly aligned.
The American Association of Orthodontists says that one out of every five patients who seek and get orthodontic treatment are 18 year old or older. So why couldn't you, too, pursue a new smile with discreet Invisalign aligners?
Dr. Pike has advanced training in the Invisalign process. He'll take great care of your smile! Contact The Scarsdale Dentist today for a consultation, won't you? Phone (914) 725-0707.