Back behind the two sets of molars in the normal adult mouth, there often erupts another set of molars. This third set of molars, commonly known as "wisdom teeth," typically appear in a person's late teens or early twenties.
Wisdom teeth often need to be removed to prevent infection, misalignment, or other problems that can occur even before they become visible. Some wisdom teeth become "impacted," meaning they are stuck below the gum line. This can lead to decay, gum disease, and even damage to other teeth.
Considering all the problems they can cause, many people naturally wonder: Why do we have these extra teeth anyway? The scientific explanation is that our distant ancestors typically wore out their teeth by early adulthood and needed a third set of molars to replace the old ones. Their teeth wore out because they ate a diet of hard-to-chew foods like roots and raw meat. The damaging diet, plus a lack of quality oral hygiene, inevitably led to decayed and missing teeth. However, as humans slowly transitioned to a softer diet of cooked foods, the need for extra teeth declined, a shorter jaw evolved, and there was less room for the third molars.
It's possible to have them removed at any age, however serious complications of wisdom tooth surgery are less likely in younger adults. Early removal also can prevent potential issues that can arise in the future.
Removing wisdom teeth requires standard tooth-pulling instruments, such as a pliers-like tool called an extraction forceps, and a lever device called an elevator. It is performed either under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, and an oral surgeon may be recommended for the procedure.
It typically takes a few days to fully recover. The discomfort can be managed with a combination of prescription pain medication and over-the-counter analgesics, plus the application of an ice pack as needed to reduce swelling.
You can replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all your teeth with implants. You don't even need one implant for every missing tooth. Home of the Stay Put Dentures, for dentures that stay put! With Stay-Put Dentures, as few as two Implants can support a removable lower denture, while as few as four implants can provide a full, permanent set of top or bottom teeth.
Most people find dental implant surgery very easy to tolerate. Any post-operative discomfort can usually be managed with over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or OTC pain-relievers. Ice can also be helpful.
At the outset, implants are more expensive than other tooth-replacement methods such as dentures or bridgework. But they also last many years longer and in fact should never need replacement. So they offer the best, most cost-effective option when viewed as a long-term investment in your health, comfort, and well-being.
They require exactly the same care as natural teeth: daily brushing and flossing, along with regular dental checkups and professional cleanings. Although implant teeth will never decay, the gum tissues around them can become inflamed or infected in the absence of good oral hygiene. Properly cared-for dental implants should last a lifetime.
Strictly speaking, implants can't be rejected because they contain no living cells or genetically coded material. The titanium of which they are made is completely biocompatible, and allergies are extremely rare. But an implant can fail to integrate with the jawbone if an infection develops in the absence of good oral hygiene, or if it is subjected to biting forces too soon. However, this is rare; implants regularly achieve success rates in excess of 95%.
There's a good chance that you are, but this can only be determined after a complete oral examination that includes x-rays of your jaws. Please schedule a complimentary consultation to begin the exciting process of restoring your smile and bite.
A new tooth root is created by placing an implant in the location of your missing tooth. A dental implant is made from surgical grade titanium and resembles a small screw. Your dental implant is placed into your bone and gum tissue during an oral surgery procedure. After a healing period, the abutment (post) is placed within your implant allowing the placement of a dental crown that restores your tooth structure above your gum line.
Untreated tooth loss can lead to a number of oral health issues. A dental implant supports your bone tissue, gum tissue, and your existing, healthy teeth. Timing is essential when considering implant treatment for tooth replacement. The health of your jawbone and gums as well as your overall health is determined during your initial oral examination.
Your tooth function and appearance are supported and improved by the security of dental implant treatment. Dental bridges and dentures can also benefit from the support and security of dental implants. Your implant creates a new tooth root. After you heal following the dental implant placement, you will experience a fully restored tooth structure and the ability to eat, chew, and smile with confidence.
Invisalign is the invisible way to straighten teeth without braces. Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to gradually straighten teeth, without metal or wires.
Invisalign uses 3-D computer imaging technology to depict the complete treatment plan from the initial position to the final desired position from which a series of custom-made, clear "aligners" are produced. Each "aligner" moves teeth incrementally and is worn for about two weeks, then replaced by the next in the series until the final position is achieved.
Invisalign is clear. You can straighten your teeth without anyone knowing. Invisalign is removable. Unlike braces, you can eat and drink what you want during treatment. You can also brush and floss normally to maintain good oral hygiene. Invisalign is comfortable. There are no metal brackets or wires as with braces to cause mouth irritation, and no metal or wires means you spend less time in the doctor's chair getting adjustments. Invisalign allows you to view your own virtual treatment plan before you start-so you can see how your straight teeth will look when your treatment is complete.
Aligners are made of clear, strong medical grade plastic that is virtually invisible when worn.
Aligners are clear and look similar to tooth-whitening trays, but are custom-made for a better fit to move teeth. Some orthodontists and dentists have referred to them as "contact lenses for teeth."
While Invisalign can be used with virtually any treatment philosophy, specific training is needed. All doctors interested in treating patients with Invisalign must attend training before cases will be accepted from their office.
Most people experience temporary discomfort for a few days at the beginning of each new stage of treatment. This is normal and is typically described as a feeling of pressure. It is a sign that Invisalign® is working-sequentially moving your teeth to their final destination. This discomfort typically goes away a couple of days after you insert the new aligner in the series.
Like all orthodontic treatments, aligners may temporarily affect the speech of some people, and you may have a slight lisp for a day or two. However, as your tongue gets used to having aligners in your mouth, any lisp caused by the aligners should disappear.
No. Unlike traditional wires and brackets, you can eat whatever you desire while in treatment because you remove your aligners to eat and drink. Thus, there is no need to restrict your consumption of any of your favorite foods and snacks. Also, it is important that you brush your teeth after each meal and prior to re-inserting your aligners to maintain proper hygiene.
We discourage smoking while wearing aligners because it is possible for the aligners to become discolored.
No, the gum will stick to the aligners. We recommend removing your aligners for all meals and snacks.
The best way to clean your aligners is by brushing and rinsing them in lukewarm water.
Aligners should be worn all day, except when eating, brushing and flossing.
Usually about once every 4-6 weeks. This is the only way the doctor can be sure that the treatment is progressing as planned.
This depends on the outcome of the treatment. Some patients might need a positioner or conventional retainer. Other patients might need a clear plastic retainer similar to the ones Invisalign makes. Discuss these possibilities with the doctor. Every patient is different and outcomes vary.
Cosmetic dentistry combines both art and science to give you a healthy, aesthetic, and flawless smile. While general dentistry is aimed at maintaining the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry provides comprehensive treatment options that improve and preserve the way your smile looks and feels. Common cosmetic treatments include:
- Teeth Whitening
- Contouring/Tooth Reshaping
- Dental Implants
- Tooth-colored fillings
- Smile makeovers
A cosmetic dentist is trained to provide a variety of treatments that are designed to enhance your smile safely and effectively. If you are missing teeth, feel that your teeth are crooked, or you're an adult looking for an alternative to braces, we can help you achieve the beautiful smile you've always wanted.
Just as every smile we treat is unique, so are the treatments we provide. Cosmetic treatment times vary, but some treatments are completed within one office visit.
Insurance coverage and out-of-pocket expenses for cosmetic treatment vary. Our practice will work with you to offer several different treatment options, and we will coordinate with your insurance provider if coverage is available. You will know all of your treatment costs up front so you can choose the best payment plan for your needs and your budget.
There are several ways to whiten teeth. Whether you choose an over-the-counter product or opt for a Zoom Whitening procedure, teeth whitening works using bleach ingredients to achieve a whiter smile. Your teeth can have stains in one of two ways: extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic stains are found on the surface, while intrinsic are in the enamel or deep inside the dentin. Whitening toothpastes or mouthwashes use non-bleaching agents to remove surface stains, while a more thorough whitening procedure can remove intrinsic stains. Teeth whitening procedures use bleaching methods actively to change the natural color of your teeth, sometimes five to seven shades brighter. Both in-office procedures and at-home procedures use bleaching to achieve a whiter set of teeth. Bleach contains an active ingredient, usually carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. These ingredients can remove deep and stubborn surface stains on teeth that could be a result of many things, including tea, coffee, tobacco, or wine. The active whitening ingredient enters your enamel and works to combat against discolored molecules in the teeth. Oxygen molecules from the whitening ingredients react with the discolored molecules to break their bonds. After this occurs, the oxygen molecules take over your teeth, spreading within the enamel to produce a brighter smile.
The cost of teeth whitening will depend on the type of procedure you choose to undergo. In-office procedures will depend on your dentist's pricing. At-home procedures could cost anywhere between $100 and $400, while usually you'll pay a little more at the dentist's office. At-home applications, however, don't always present the same results as an in-office procedure.
Everyone responds differently to teeth whitening. Some may complain that it is uncomfortable while others respond fine to the procedure. There is something called bleaching sensitivity that often affects patients undergoing a teeth whitening procedure. About 80% of patients using a teeth whitening treatment will experience some form of teeth sensitivity. While doctors are still unsure of why nociceptors activate sensitivity to bleach, there are some actions you can take to find relief after a procedure.
- Talk to your dentist about a prescribed gel or toothpaste for tooth sensitivity
- Don't eat hot or cold foods for a couple of days after the procedure
- Brush gently after the procedure, using lukewarm water
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of research on the topic of teeth whitening while pregnant. Without more data, it is difficult to fully answer whether or not teeth whitening affects you or your developing baby while pregnant. While some pregnant women may choose to whiten their teeth using at-home applications, it's not recommended for dentists to treat pregnant women with a teeth whitening procedure. Ultimately, the American Dental Association leaves the decision up to women if they want to undergo teeth whitening, however, the association and dental professionals still advise against it due to lack of research. It's always best not to risk it and to avoid and teeth whitening procedures while pregnant.
Similarly, there are no studies to determine if teeth whitening while breastfeeding is safe. Dental and medical professionals will give the same answer to this question when it comes to pregnancy-avoid teeth whitening altogether until you're done breastfeeding. There is simply not enough research to conclude that teeth whitening is safe during these periods.
You might wonder how Hollywood stars obtain their flawless, white smiles. If you're trying to achieve the same bright smiles as one of your favorite celebrities, then you might consider an office visit to your dentist. Celebrities are more likely to seek professional help for teeth whitening as this will maintain a whiter smile longer. In fact, a lot of celebrities choose Zoom Whitening because it's a quick procedure with lasting results. NBA All-Star Dwight Howard, stars from the Real Housewives of New York, and many television personalities use Zoom Whitening.
Teeth whitening is a safe, effective procedure, and does not typically include any negative side effects. Minor side effects may consist of:
- Increased tooth sensitivity to hot or cold
- White spots on the surface of the teeth (a potential side effect of at-home whitening systems)
- Nighttime whitening trays that cause additional gum sensitivity or irritation.
Dental veneers are bonded over several teeth in a side-by-side manner, changing the uniform shape and appearance of your smile. They can be used to mask aesthetic flaws such as teeth that are:
Because each veneer is handmade, it fits with its partners to achieve an overall appearance when looking from outside of your mouth. Getting veneers is one of the fastest ways to make your smile look whiter, straighter, and properly shaped.
No. A crown covers the entire tooth, up to the gumline. It's used for restorative purposes when a tooth is broken, decayed, or compromised in some way. However, they can be made out of porcelain, allowing them to enhance the appearance of the tooth while also repairing it. In contrast, veneers only cover the front surface of your teeth (the area that's visible when you smile) instead of the entire tooth. They usually serve a cosmetic purpose rather than a restorative one (although they can very well serve a restorative purpose as well).
Pricing on veneers depends on several factors, including how many veneers you need, the type of material being used to make them, and lab expenses in your area (related to the cost of living.) We provide our veneers patients with a detailed treatment plan for their upcoming smile makeover so that they can make an educated choice as to which type of treatment they get.
Everyone's smile is different. When you look in the mirror or pose for a photograph, take note as to how many teeth are visible when you smile.
The process usually takes three steps. First, we examine your teeth and plan what the veneers will look like (including their size, shape, and color). ?Then, we book you for a preparation appointment, where your teeth are gently adjusted to take a thin layer of enamel off of the front so that the veneers won't look bulky when bonded in place. An impression is taken and sent to our lab. We will place some temporary veneers over your teeth to help minimize any possible sensitivity, and the temporaries will also serve as a blueprint for what the final results will look like. In two weeks, your permanent veneers are ready to bond in place.
Sometimes. A dental veneer is considered an elective cosmetic treatment. As such, it isn't necessarily treating an area of disease, which means insurance does not pay for it. Most of our cosmetic veneer patients choose to budget their smile makeover via a flexible monthly payment plan so that they can get treatment right away. If you have a tooth that's compromised, a structural restoration such as a crown can help you protect it while also improving its appearance. If you already have veneers and one break, sometimes your dental insurance can cover the procedure.
Most high-quality dental veneers are made of durable porcelain, expertly matched to the hue and shade of your liking. Other types of veneers can be made from composites, Zirconia, and resin, depending on your preferences. Because we want all of our patients to have durable veneers that are long-lasting and beautiful, we use the highest quality materials available.
Before anyone can get dental veneers, it's important to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. It's not safe to put veneers on areas of active decay, significant wear/fractures, or when periodontal disease is present. Doing so could compromise the integrity of your bite, or risk losing your cosmetic investment altogether.
Composite is a tooth-colored resin/ceramic filling material of many different forms that can be bonded to your teeth to create an excellent restoration. Resin is used for white fillings and, in some cases, as an in-office veneer material. Resin veneers are less expensive and less invasive than porcelain veneers but don't have the same longevity. These materials are not the most ideal since the resin plastic is excellent but not as strong as the porcelain restorative choices available.
The answer is a very definite: It depends! The larger the existing filling and defect, the more research shows that reinforcement with stronger materials is necessary. Today's onlay restorations are frequently made of extremely durable pressed ceramics. Smaller restorations can be replaced with cost-effective white fillings. These fillings can last quite some time but, again, size is the limiting factor as they are 1/3 the strength of porcelain or ceramic bonded restorations. We will advise you when we see you as to your options.
For those concerned about the metal debris, we are prepared to use special measures to protect you. Removal is not considered a health risk by the profession.