Posts for: January, 2016
Scottsdale, Tempe, and Pheonix, AZ adults can get straighter smiles with clear options like Invisalign.
By the time we reach adulthood we often don’t think that certain rites of passage might reappear. While it’s still common for children and teenagers to sport braces, a growing number of adults are also jumping on the bandwagon. With clear options in Scottsdale, Tempe, and Pheonix, AZ like Invisalign, the dentists of Waterfront Dentistry are seeing more and more adults turning to these subtle orthodontic treatments to get a straighter smile. Learn more about your treatment options!
While it might seem like traditional braces don’t have a place anymore with all the new orthodontic advancements, the typical bracket-and-wire philosophy is still one of the best and most effective ways to straighten smiles. Brackets and wires also handle the most severe cases of malocclusions and crookedness that other orthodontic treatments don’t. Now we can still use that same traditional braces approach but with a clearer alternative. Ceramic braces offer brackets that are clear so they blend in with your teeth, and the wires can even be tooth-colored.
Pros: Less obvious than traditional metal braces; treatment length is faster than with clear aligners like Invisalign.
Cons: Costs more than metal braces; clear bracket are more likely to stain.
Again, these braces are just like traditional metal braces except that instead of them being adhered to the front of your teeth where everyone will see them, these braces are applied to the inside of your teeth. Therefore, no one will be about to tell that you have braces but you.
Pros: Braces are practically invisible to those around you.
Cons: They are harder to clean and care for; they also tend to be more expensive than traditional braces; they aren’t right for all dental cases so talk to your Scottsdale, Tempe, and Pheonix dentists.
Invisalign is a series of custom-made clear, plastic aligners that look similar to whitening trays. The aligners are removable and are only worn for two weeks at a time before being replaced. How many aligners you wear will depend on the length of your treatment and the severity of your case. Adults tend to have a shorter length of treatment with Invisalign than teens.
Pros: Practically invisible; can be removed so brushing and eating are affected; no change to your diet.
Cons: Doesn’t work for more severe cases; not available for children, only teens and adults; can be more expensive than other orthodontic options.
If you are interested in Invisalign or another treatment option, then schedule a consultation today with your Scottsdale, Tempe, and Pheonix, AZ dentists at Waterfront Dentistry. It’s never too late to get the straighter smile you’ve always wanted.
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Congratulations to our December raffle winner, Angie! Thanks to all of our patients who have made us the best dentist in Scottsdale, AZ!
Since their development in the laboratory over five decades ago, lasers have found increasing use in our everyday lives. In the field of medicine, it’s not uncommon to find lasers in the offices of dermatologists, ophthalmologists and surgeons, to name just a few. Now, some dentists are finding that lasers can offer an alternative means of treating gum disease — and one that may have advantages in certain situations.
You probably know that a laser produces a special kind of light — in fact, its name is an acronym for “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation.” Essentially, a medical laser uses electrical energy to produce an intense and narrow beam of concentrated light. This light can be directed to a particular area, often via a fiber-optic channel. The laser’s precision allows a doctor or technician to focus the light energy exactly where it’s needed — to remove diseased tissue, seal off blood vessels, and sterilize a wound, for example.
For several years, periodontists — dentists who specialize in treating diseases of the gums — have been researching the use of lasers for treating certain types of gum disease. In standard clinical practice, hand-held instruments and ultrasonic cleaning tools are used at regular time intervals (3 – 6 months) to remove the sticky bacterial biofilm, as well as calculus (tartar), that forms in between teeth and gums. If that still isn't effective, gum surgery may be required to access the affected area, remove diseased tissue, and reduce pocket depth (the space below the gum line that gets larger as bone loss occurs) to prevent reinfection.
Recently, however, several new procedures have been developed that use lasers to accomplish some or all of these goals. One type of therapy uses a special laser that emits pulses of light with a specific wavelength (color) of 1064 nanometers. This light passes through healthy cells like a sunbeam through a window — but when it encounters darkly-pigmented bacteria, it vaporizes them instantly!
One of the potential advantages of laser treatment is its precision: focused directly on the area where trouble occurs, it targets diseased tissue but leaves healthy tissue alone. Another is that laser treatment is less invasive: It requires less tissue removal, and may cause less discomfort and tissue shrinkage (gum recession) than conventional periodontal surgery. And because it produces small amounts of heat, it can seal blood vessels and help control bleeding.
While lasers have long shown promise for treating gum disease, until recently it wasn’t clear if they offered any advantages over traditional methods. Now, several studies have shown that certain laser treatments can be just as effective as traditional gum surgery in many cases — with the potential benefit of being less invasive. In the future, the use of lasers for periodontal procedures is likely to increase.
It’s important to remember that no single treatment — not even a laser — can “zap” gum disease in one fell swoop. Controlling periodontal disease requires effective at-home oral hygiene combined with regular professional care. If you have questions about periodontal disease, please call our office to schedule a consultation.