The visible part of a tooth, otherwise known as the crown, is only a small portion of the living system. The crown is made up of enamel, the hardest substance found within the body. It is bone that has been enriched with large percentages of calcium. That's why people who drink lots of milk or take calcium supplements have strong bones and teeth. The enamel is thickest at the crown, and thinnest near the roots of the teeth.
The permanent teeth are the second set of teeth that will last the rest of your life. They tend to be more yellow (and not just because of coffee) and are extremely hard. The final set of teeth is made up of 32 teeth, or 16 on each jaw. There are two central incisors for biting, two lateral incisors for biting, two canines for tearing and cutting, four premolars for chewing, and six molars for chewing.
Your teeth are by far one of the most important things you use every day. Many people end up neglecting their teeth with improper oral hygiene. You should take care of them by brushing at least twice a day, flossing once per day, and going for regular dental checkups at least twice per year.
Learning more about dental implants
Implants are great for replacing missing teeth. It is important that you have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth for the implants to be attached to. Implants are not only used to replace one tooth, but rather people missing most, if not all, of their teeth benefit greatly as well. Implants are increasingly being used to replace certain types of bridges and removable partial dentures.
If you're missing one tooth or all of your teeth, implants may well be for you. So long as you have enough bone in the area of the missing tooth to facilitate the anchorage of the implants, this procedure can yield terrific results. If you don't have enough bone for this purpose, a bone graft may be necessary.
The implant procedure is a surgical placement of the implant or implants in your jaw bone which requires a three to six month healing period before the implant restoration to replace the missing tooth or teeth. During this healing time, the bone grows in and around the titanium implant creating a very strong support. Dental implants can be rejected. Usually they are replaced with another implant of a slightly larger size. The rejection or "failure" rate is minimal, only 1 to 2% of all implant procedures. You must go without wearing your dentures for one day to two weeks after an implant placement. After the implant has "taken" and you have sufficiently healed, a very natural crown is placed on the implant.
When missing one tooth, your cosmetic dentist may use a Flipper to fill the space. A Flipper is a false tooth to temporarily take the place of a missing tooth before the permanent crown is placed on the implant. A Flipper can be attached via either a wire or a plastic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. Flippers are meant to be a temporary solution while awaiting the permanent crown to be placed on your implant(s).
As we age, many of us find ourselves with teeth that are no longer structurally sound. Root canals, lost fillings, decay below a filling, chipping and cracking of the enamel are all things that can lead to large scale defects in a tooth's surface. When the entire surface of the tooth is a problem, but the root system is intact, a crown might be just what the dentist orders.
Your cosmetic dentist will usually be able to spot problem areas in your mouth that might lead to tooth damage and a need for crowns. Chewing patterns play a big role as well. By selectively grinding the tips of your middle and back teeth (called cusps) will alter your bite to reduce the stress on at-risk teeth.
There are basically three types of crowns, those made of gold, ceramic crowns and ceramic-veneered gold crowns. Gold and metal-ceramic crowns are extremely durable and are normally used in molars, where the forces from chewing and grinding are most prevalent. Ceramic crowns are used primarily for front teeth, since they can best resemble the natural tooth color.
Methods of teeth straightening
Lingual braces are similar to classic orthodontic braces but are attached to the backside of the teeth, rather than the front. Although they still have many of the problems of standard braces, they are not visible and may be chosen by adults who do not wish for visible braces. Lingual braces are more expensive than standard braces but the fastest method of "invisible" teeth straightening.
Invisalign is one of the newest methods of teeth straightening and is extremely popular with adults. Consisting of a clear mold that is nearly invisible when worn, Invisalign uses a series of molds that gradually push the teeth into the desired shape. Invisalign does not cost significantly more than standard orthodontic braces, but cannot correct an overbite or underbite and is only a good choice for minor straightening. Invisalign is not as effective on major problems, which may require standard braces.
What are dental dentures?
Dentures, also known as false teeth, are the primary topic in this section of our site. Here, you can learn how the procedure is performed, what dentures cost and the advantages and disadvantages of having them.
Dentures are removable replacements for missing teeth typically made out of an acrylic resin which at times incorporate porcelain or metal for additional structural support.
The setting up dentures procedure begins with a wax bite impression of your mouth that will give your dentist exacting measurements. A try-on appointment will fine tunes color, shape, and custom-fit. After your final dentures are fabricated, they will be placed and informed of their required care.
There are many different causes that lead to stained or discolored teeth. Some of the most common causes are everyday foods and drinks--coffee, tea, soda, and red wine all have a staining effect on tooth enamel. Smoking will also darken teeth. Some medications, if taken during early childhood, can result in teeth that are discolored.
Some types of tooth discoloration are difficult to whiten and treat. Teeth that have been subjected to trauma may darken significantly, and resist any bleaching procedure. Some medications affect young children when their teeth are first forming and may also be nearly impossible to treat. Dentists will be able to tell what situations may result in bleach-resistant discoloration, and provide advice on how effective various treatments may be. In cases of extreme discoloration that cannot be subjected to common teeth whitening procedures, porcelain veneers applied to the teeth may be an alternative solution.
Mild side effects are to be expected with any teeth whitening procedure, and may range from slight discomfort to sensitivity to hot and cold. While serious side effects are extremely rare, any extended sensations of pain should immediately be reported to a dentist. Irritation to the gums and mouth tissues should also be watched for and reported if persistent.
Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session. This procedure is even a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. This is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored can create a beautiful smile when performed by a cosmetic dentist, with no discomfort to you. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of your teeth.
The cosmetic dentist will mark your teeth with a pencil prior to performing the procedure. This helps the cosmetic dentist in their sculpting process. As your cosmetic dentist sculpts the tooth, imperfections are artfully eliminating or minimized. A sanding drill or laser may be used to remove small amounts of surface enamel gradually. Abrasive strips are then moved back and forth between your teeth to shape the actual sides of your teeth. Then the teeth are smoothed and polished. Usually anesthetic is not needed. Teeth contouring and reshaping usually takes one to three visits.
Contouring teeth may also help correct small problems with bite. It is common for bonding to be combined with tooth reshaping to achieve a beautiful smile. There are actually several ways to change the appearance of your teeth. Many times these various procedures are combined in different ways to deliver that smile of your dreams.
Basically, bonding will cover any natural flaws applying a thin coating of a plastic material on the front surface of your teeth. After this, your cosmetic dentist will apply a bonding material and sculpt, color and shape it to provide a pleasing result. A high-intensity light then hardens the plastic, and the surface is finely polished.
The resin comes in many shades so that we can match it to your natural teeth. Due to the layers involved, this procedure will take slightly longer than traditional silver fillings because multiple layers of the bonding material are applied. Typically bonding takes an hour to two hours depending on your particular case.
You are good candidate for tooth bonding, if you have close, small gaps between your front teeth, or if you have chipped or cracked teeth, you may be a candidate for bonding. Bonding is also used for patients who have discolored teeth, uneven teeth, gum recession or tooth decay. Bonding material is porous, so smokers will find that their bonding will yellow. If you think you are a candidate for bonding, discuss it with your dentist.
Teeth enamel discoloration can be caused by staining, aging, or chemical damage to teeth. Some of the more common causes of teeth discoloration are medications, coffee, tea or cigarettes. People who drink significant amounts of cola soft drinks can experience similar staining.
Veneers, porcelain or plastic, are placed over the front teeth to change color shape of the teeth. Veneers are ideal for teeth that are too small, too big, or have uneven surfaces. It is very common for people to have imperfect teeth, either oddly shaped teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, teeth with small holes in them, or an inappropriate sized tooth or teeth that have an odd appearance. Veneers solve such irregularities and create a durable and pleasing smile.
While no alternative to veneers will create the exact same effect, there are some popular procedures that may seem worthwhile. Crowns, while more expensive, also act to cover the tooth with a protective coating. For individuals who simply want to brighten their teeth, many clinics now offer tooth bleaching, though this is a much less permanent procedure.
- Dental fillings are inserted as restorations in the treatment of dental cavities, after drilling out the cavities.
- Dental implants are surgically fixed substitutes for roots of missing teeth. Embedded in the jawbone, they act as anchors for a replacement tooth, also known as a crown, or a full set of replacement teeth.
- Removable complete dentures are full-mouth false teeth, which are used when a patient has no teeth left on either the mandibular arch, the maxillary arch, or both.
- A layer of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or acrylic resin, attached to and covering the surface of a metal crown or natural tooth structure.
- Total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensibility, induced by disease, injury, acupuncture, or an anesthetic, such as chloroform or nitrous oxide.
- Local or general insensibility to pain with or without the loss of consciousness, induced by an anesthetic.
- A drug, administered for medical or surgical purposes, that induces partial or total loss of sensation and may be topical, local, regional, or general, depending on the method of administration and area of the body affected.
- A dental bridge is a prosthesis used in place of missing teeth and may be removable or permanently attached.
- The formation of cavities in the teeth by the action of bacteria; tooth decay.
- Also known colloquially as tooth decay.
- Full-coverage restoration (sometimes incorrectly called a cap) is a prosthetic tooth designed by a dentist and usually created by a lab technician.
- A hard, white, translucent ceramic made by firing a pure clay and then glazing it with variously colored fusible materials.
- The medical study of the mouth and its diseases.
- Also known as tooth whitening.