A sparkling smile can improve your appearance, lift your spirits, and enhance your whole approach to life. Yellow or stained teeth can bring a person down. This is why teeth whitening has become such a popular way to improve your looks and your self-esteem at the same time. Here are some choices you have when it comes to brightening your smile.
Laser treatments provide one way to whiten your teeth, and obviously must be professionally administered in a dental office. This involves applying a special gel to your teeth while covering the gums for protection, and then shining a laser onto each tooth. The light reacts with the gel to whiten the teeth. It is best to look for a professional who has experience and good reputation for success in laser teeth whitening, as you want to be sure not to over-whiten your teeth to create an unnatural look.
Tooth bleaching is an option in which bleach is applied to your teeth. Be sure only gels made for teeth whitening are used, because bleach can be harmful to your teeth and gums if it is not the right kind. This method of whitening can take a bit longer than other options.
There are several home whitening choices available. The simplest may be toothpaste specifically designed for that reason, although they require long-term use to get noticeable results. Strips are another method, which you adhere to the fronts of your teeth for about thirty minutes each day for a few weeks. These sometimes increase tooth sensitivity, but usually it is not severe. Whitening trays are also available that fit into your mouth for you to hold in place while a whitening gel placed in the trays goes to work.
No matter which teeth whitening method you select, practicing good oral hygiene and maintaining regular dental checkups are important ways to keep your smile healthy and looking good.
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People have all sorts of excuses for missing dental appointments. They’re too busy at work, the location is inconvenient, there’s nothing obviously wrong with their teeth, and the list goes on. None of these are valid reasons for neglecting regular visits to the dentist. Maybe it will help you maintain dental checkups as a priority if you know why they’re so important.
Diagnosing problems early
Regular checkups allow your dentist to diagnose oral health issues early, while treatment is still possible and often not as extensive or painful.
Handling side effects
Sometimes dental problems bring side effects along with them, and your dentist will be able to correct more than one issue at a time. For example, bacteria in your mouth not only cause tooth decay, but also promote bad breath. Tackling your tooth decay may help you conquer your mouth odor as well.
Identifying other health concerns
Dental checkups are good for your oral health, but also for your overall well-being. There are a number of ailments linked to dental problems, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Problems like bleeding gums may signal a gum or tooth problem, but your dentist might determine that another health condition is contributing to the bleeding.
Restoring a healthy mouth
Advancements in dentistry allow all kinds of restorations that can give you a functional and attractive smile. Tooth loss can be corrected with dental implants or dentures, decay can be treated with tooth-colored fillings, and even headaches can be relieved with dental work. Maintaining your dental appointments offers many benefits that shouldn’t be ignored.
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If your dentist gives you the news that you need a root canal, it’s likely that you might cringe. However, sometimes a root canal is the absolute best way to save your tooth. Finding out more details about the procedure, its purpose, and what you can expect may make you feel better about following your dentist’s advice.
The goal of a root canal is to repair a tooth that is acutely decayed or infected. The nerve and pulp of your tooth are taken out so the inside of your tooth can be cleaned. Often, a root canal is your only choice for a tooth that is in such poor condition. Without treatment, infection is likely and an abscess can develop. This painful complication occurs when the infection spreads deep into your tooth beyond the ends of the roots.
The process of getting a root canal takes several dental office visits. It is sometimes performed at your regular dentist, or you may see a specialist called an endodontist. First, an X-ray will help the doctor determine the exact requirements of your case. Anesthesia or topical numbing may be used, depending on your procedure. Often patients choose anesthesia to be more at ease during the root canal. The doctor will then drill an access hole into your tooth, and begin the thorough process of cleaning out the tooth. The pulp, bacteria, nerve tissue, and any other debris will be removed. After cleaning is complete, the tooth will be sealed and a temporary filling placed to keep the area clean until the next appointment. At that time, the interior of your tooth will be filled and sealed, and a final filling will be placed on top. The last step may include a restoration like a crown to restore complete function and protect the tooth from further damage.
Although you’ve probably heard root canals are very painful, many patients say it’s no worse than having a cavity filled. Your tooth may be sensitive for a few days, which ibuprofen should control. You should be able to return to your regular activities the day after your procedure.
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The field of cosmetic dentistry offers many treatments options that can transform your smile into what you’ve always hoped it could be. These oral health specialists offer ways to correct discoloration, chips, gaps, holes, and other flaws that negatively affect your smile. Even though the list of procedures is long, not every one of them is the right one for every patient. Before selecting a cosmetic dentistry procedure, make sure it’s the best to meet your needs.
Professionally brightening your smile in your dentist’s office can provide dramatic and fast results. Treatment involves having a special bleaching gel placed on your teeth and then a laser light being shined on them to complete the process. It may be too uncomfortable though for patients who have highly sensitive teeth and gums, and it’s not approved for pregnant or nursing mothers.
Missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, which are basically artificial tooth roots with a dental crown on top to complete the look. Implants are permanently secured directly into your jawbone to provide a very natural and durable solution. This is not a good option for patients who have significant bone loss from conditions like periodontal disease, unless bone graft surgery is done to correct the problem. Patients who have a history of head and neck radiation therapy also need to be examined thoroughly to ensure implants are an option.
Dental veneers hide all sorts of imperfections by covering the fronts of damaged teeth with thin shells. Because some tooth enamel often requires removal during treatment, teeth sensitivity can be an issue for some patients. Those who grind or clench their teeth also may not be candidates for veneers because the pressure can damage them.
Orthodontic problems are often resolved by cosmetic dentists using braces. Patients with metal allergies or periodontal disease no longer have to forego braces, because traditional treatment is not the only choice. Clear plastic braces are now a great choice for many patients.
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