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ProfessionalWhiteningOffersanEffectiveWaytoRestoreYourSmilesLuster

Your teeth were meant to shine! Tooth enamel’s polished translucence, framed by the dentin layer beneath it, has a way of vibrantly catching the light when you smile. But tooth wear and structural changes as you age can dim that shine. Add to that staining caused by foods and beverages or disease and your smile could further lose its luster.

On your supermarket or pharmacy oral hygiene aisle you’ll find dozens of products promising to restore that lost luster, including toothpastes, whitening kits or even chewing gum. While such products work to some degree, our dental office may have the right solution for you: a safe and effective treatment for whitening teeth.

Why see us for teeth whitening? For one, professional whitening solutions contain a higher concentration of bleaching agent (usually 35-45% hydrogen peroxide) than home kits. We usually apply it in a gel form directly to the teeth while using barrier devices like dams to protect the lips and other soft tissue from irritation. We may then apply heat or light to the applied gel to enhance the release of peroxide into your enamel.

This professional procedure can often give you a brighter smile in fewer sessions than a home whitening kit — and it may last longer. What’s more, we can control the level of brightness to produce only a subtle change or a dazzling “Hollywood” smile — whatever your preference.

Like a home kit, this procedure bleaches staining on the outer surface of enamel, known as extrinsic staining. But you can also have discoloration deep within a tooth, known as intrinsic staining, caused by a variety of reasons like tetracycline use early in life or complications from a root canal treatment. Home kits or even the professional treatment described above can’t whiten intrinsic staining.

For intrinsic staining you’ll need a special procedure that places a bleaching agent inside the tooth. Depending on the extent of staining the procedure could require more than one session.

To find out what kind of discoloration you have, visit us for a full examination. We’ll then be able to give you your options for putting the shine back in your smile.

If you would like more information on teeth whitening, 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 “Teeth Whitening.”

YourChildsImpactedFrontTeethcanbeSaved-butDontWaittooLong

Children's permanent teeth normally erupt over several years after first forming below the gum line. All their permanent teeth should come in by the time they reach early adolescence.

Unfortunately, this process doesn't always happen as it should. If the erupting teeth become crowded due to a poor bite (malocclusion), teeth still to come in may not have enough room to fully erupt. They become impacted, a condition in which the visible crown remains partially or completely submerged below the gum line.

Impacted teeth create consequences for other teeth and dental health overall. They more readily cause abscesses (a localized infection within the gum tissue) and can damage the roots of nearby teeth. Impacted front canine (eye) teeth can interfere with bite function and their visual absence mars an otherwise attractive smile.

If your child's canine teeth have failed to erupt properly, there is a way to help them fully come in if you act before their mouth structure fully matures. The first step is an orthodontic evaluation of their entire bite. This will determine if there's enough space to move other teeth to make room for the impacted canines.

If so, we would then find the exact position of the impacted teeth using x-rays and possibly cone beam CT scanning for a detailed three-dimensional image. The teeth could be in a variety of positions, such as angled toward the roof of the mouth or cheek or buried high in the jawbone. If the teeth are too far out of position the best course of action may be to remove them and replace them later with a dental implant.

If the impacted teeth, though, are in a feasible position for retrieval, we first expose each tooth through the gums with a minor surgical procedure and bond a small bracket to it. We then attach a small gold chain to the bracket that loops over an orthodontic appliance attached to other teeth. The appliance will exert pressure over several months to pull the tooth into proper position.

If successful, your child will gain the use of these important teeth and a more attractive appearance. But don't delay — this desired outcome will become much harder if not impossible to attain as their teeth and jaws continue to develop.

If you would like more information on treating impacted teeth, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By Thomas J. English, DDS
June 07, 2017
Category: None
Tags: Untagged

How to Restore Your Natural Smile 

If you’re one of the millions of adults who has lost one or more teeth due to cavities, gum disease or traumatic injury, then you know how big of an impact tooth loss can have on your life. Missing teeth can cause problems speaking, make eating your favorite foods difficult and have a negative impact on your self-confidence.
 
Fortunately, there are many tooth replacement options available for people with damaged or missing teeth. Delaying treatment may lead to more serious problems and require more extensive dental work down the road, so it’s important to talk to your [location] dentist as soon as you notice a problem.
 

What is Dental Restoration?

Dental restoration is the process of restoring damaged or missing teeth to a healthy, functional and beautiful state.  Whether you need a tooth-colored filling, porcelain crown, permanent bridge or any other replacement for missing teeth, [Name of Practice] can help you regain the function and natural beauty of your smile while providing improved comfort.
 

Fillings

Fillings are used to restore a portion of a tooth damaged by decay or traumatic injury. Compared to earlier filings, the materials used in fillings today are much more aesthetically appealing, allowing patients to restore their tooth while maintaining a smile that looks and feels natural. 
 

Dental Implants

Dental implants are an excellent long-term solution to missing or broken teeth. These artificial tooth roots are securely placed to simulate the root of a pre-existing tooth. Implants are designed to replicate your natural teeth while restoring function and preventing further decay, dental diseases, and bone loss. 
 

Dentures

Another option for tooth loss is dentures or false teeth. There are two types of dentures: complete and partial. Complete dentures are used when no teeth are remaining. This type of dentures covers both the upper and lower gums. Partial dentures, on the other hand, are used when several teeth are missing. Today’s dentures are designed to be much more comfortable and functional than earlier years. 
 

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns may be used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a restorative procedure, such as a root canal, or when decay in a tooth becomes so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed.  Crowns are placed on the top of the tooth and are typically made of tooth-like porcelain material. Crowns may also be used to cover implants, attach dental bridges or protect an existing filling from becoming loose or dislocated. 
 

Bridges

Dental bridges "bridge" the gap between your missing tooth or teeth and your surrounding teeth. False teeth are fused between two crowns to fill in the area where tooth loss occurred.  
 
If your teeth are damaged or missing, then you want a replacement option that will restore your smile as close to your natural teeth as possible.  Today’s restorative dental options are more durable and natural looking than in years past, renewing both your health and self-confidence. Talk to Thomas J. English, DDS about the best treatment for you. 
By THOMAS J. ENGLISH, DDS
May 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Root Canals  

There is nothing to fear about root canals. Find out more about this commonly performed dental procedure.

Hearing your dentist tell you that you need a root canal may fill you with anxiety, but there is truly nothing to fear. Arm yourself with all the information you need to understand your upcoming Root Canalprocedure so that you can get through it easily and stress-free.

Q. What is a root canal?

A. This endodontic procedure is necessary when the inside of the tooth, known as the dental pulp, is either infected or damaged. The dental pulp can be affected by severe decay, infection or trauma. Once the damage reaches the pulp, your endodontist will recommend having a root canal.

Q. Do I need a root canal?

A. It can be difficult to know when you might need to come in for a root canal, which is why going in for your six-month checkup can protect your smile and detect issues when they are still easy to fix. Common symptoms that might warrant a root canal include,

  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold

  • Persistent or severe pain, particularly when chewing

  • Tooth pain that keeps you up at night

  • An abscess that develops around the affected tooth

Q. What should I expect from my upcoming procedure?

A. Root canals are a common practice. While many people worry that it might be rather time-consuming and invasive, it is no more complicated than getting a cavity filled.

The purpose of the procedure is to remove the affected dental pulp. Your general dentist will drill through the hard outer layers of enamel until we reach the internal part of the tooth. From there, your dentist will carefully remove the diseased tissue and disinfect the inside of the tooth if an infection is present. Once treated, we will use special materials to rebuild the tooth from the inside out. Most teeth treated with a root canal will also need a dental crown to protect the weakened tooth from further damage.

Q. Is the procedure painful?

A. Most people worry that a root canal will be painful. Everyone’s heard stories! But keep in mind that many people needing a root canal are dealing with pretty unpleasant and chronic dental pain. The purpose of the procedure isn’t to instill more pain, but to actually eliminate the source of the pain. Plus, a root canal is performed under local anesthesia, so you shouldn’t feel a thing.

Contact your Dentist

Still have questions about root canal therapy? Need to schedule your next dental appointment? Then it’s time to call your dentist today. We would be happy to answer all of your dental questions.

By Thomas J. English, DDS
February 08, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tooth decay  
AlthoughaGlobalProblemToothDecaycanbePrevented

Other than the common cold, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease in the world. And while a cavity or two may seem like a minor matter, tooth decay’s full destructive potential is anything but trivial. Without proper prevention and treatment, tooth decay can cause pain, tooth loss and, in rare cases, even death.

This common disease begins with bacteria in the mouth. Though these microscopic organisms’ presence is completely normal and at times beneficial, certain strains cause problems: they consume left over carbohydrates in the mouth like sugar and produce acid as a byproduct. The higher the levels of bacteria the higher the amount of acid, which disrupts the mouth’s normal neutral pH.

This is a problem because acid is the primary enemy of enamel, the teeth’s hard protective outer shell. Acid causes enamel to lose its mineral content (de-mineralization), eventually producing cavities. Saliva neutralizes acid that arises normally after we eat, but if the levels are too high for too long this process can be overwhelmed. The longer the enamel is exposed to acid, the more it softens and dissolves.

While tooth decay is a global epidemic, dental advances of the last century have made it highly preventable. The foundation for prevention is fluoride in toothpaste and effective oral hygiene — daily brushing and flossing to removing plaque, a thin film of food remnant on teeth that’s a feeding ground for bacteria, along with regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning and examination. This regular regimen should begin in infancy when teeth first appear in the mouth. For children especially, further prevention measures in the form of sealants or topical fluoride applications performed in the dentist office can provide added protection for those at higher risk.

You can also help your preventive measures by limiting sugar or other carbohydrates in your family’s diet, and eating more fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy products, especially as snacks. Doing so reduces food sources for bacteria, which will lower their multiplication and subsequently the amount of acid produced.

In this day and age, tooth decay isn’t a given. Keeping it at bay, though, requires a personal commitment to effective hygiene, lifestyle choices and regular dental care. Doing these things will help ensure you and your family’s teeth remain free from this all too common disease.

If you would like more information on preventing and treating tooth decay, 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 “Tooth Decay.”





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