Posts for: April, 2011
For adults with a reasonably well fitting bite, but mild to moderate crowding or spaces between your teeth, clear orthodontic aligners can be an ideal solution for straightening your teeth. This is why we offer this treatment option to our patients experiencing these issues. However, for those of you who are unfamiliar with what they are or how they work, this will give you a brief understanding.
Clear orthodontic aligners consist of a series of clear “trays” that fit snuggly over all teeth to slowly shift them into alignment. Patients are typically required to wear them 20 hours per day for about 2 weeks before progressing to the next tray. With each new tray, you are one step closer to achieving your goal of perfectly aligned teeth. The entire process usually lasts 6-18 months depending on how much movement is required to achieve the goals.
Each aligner is individually made from very precise molds of the patient's teeth to ensure proper fit. And we map out the entire alignment process using computer generation from each patient's initial molds so that we can identify the number of trays required. But best of all, clear orthodontic aligners are perfectly smooth with no rough edges like traditional braces, and you can remove them for eating, brushing, and flossing teeth as well as for brief social events.
A toothache. A knocked out or broken tooth. A lost crown or filling. You can't always stop dental injuries from occurring, but you can help ease the pain and prevent additional dental damage until you can get to a dentist. At Bankers Hill Dental, we realize accidents can happen, and when patients are prepared to handle dental emergencies, it can mean the difference between saving and losing a tooth.
Easy Ways to Avoid Dental Injuries
- Avoid chewing ice or hard candy which can crack teeth
- Avoid ripping objects with teeth, such as sealed packages and tape
- Avoid the risk of injury to teeth, gums, lips and tongue by wearing a mouthguard when participating in sports and high-impact activities
- Visit Bankers Hill Dental for regular check ups and cleanings
Whether you're at home, in the car or at work, when a dental emergency strikes, you'll want to be prepared. Until you can get into our San Diego dental office, following these basic steps can help relieve the pain, save your tooth and prevent additional damage. Before acting on any dental emergency, you should always contact Bankers Hill Dental first to ensure safe and appropriate care.
Temporary Treatment for Common Dental Emergencies
- Toothache: Rinse mouth with warm water to clean the affected tooth, and gently floss to remove food or debris that may be trapped between the teeth. If pain persists, visit a dentist for a thorough evaluation as it may indicate a cavity or infection.
- Broken tooth: Rinse mouth with warm water; locate the lost filling or tooth pieces; and control swelling or bleeding with an ice pack and gauze. See your dentist as soon as possible.
- Knocked out tooth: Gently place the tooth back into the socket if possible. If not, tuck it between your cheek and gum or place it in a small container of milk. Getting to your dentist within one hour of the accident with the tooth is your best bet for successfully reattaching the tooth to the supporting tissues.
- Objects caught between teeth: Rinse your mouth with warm water. If that doesn't work, gently try to remove the object with floss. Avoid using sharp instruments that could injure or cut the gums. If the object can't be dislodged, visit Bankers Hill Denta for professional assistance.
Temporary dental care is just that- temporary. It's important to seek professional dental assistance as soon as possible following an injury to your teeth or gums.
Fortunately, an unforeseen dental emergency can usually be prevented with early detection and preventative care. Practice good oral hygiene-brushing and flossing daily-and visit our San Diego office for regular check ups and cleanings. As a general rule, if your teeth or mouth hurt, visit Bankers Hill Dental for a careful evaluation and proper treatment.
While lasers have been effective (and safe) tools for healthcare professionals in the medical field for years, did you know that they are fast becoming a vital tool in the field of dentistry for diagnosing dental disease? Lasers, named from “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation,” are beams of light that are of a single color and wavelength. They also have the unique ability to help dental professionals detect disease in much earlier stages than they have ever before.
Diagnostic lasers are very effective in diagnosing pit and fissure decay — the tiny grooves of the biting surfaces that cannot be seen by visual inspection or reached by a traditional dental tool. They are able to accomplish this by producing a glowing effect known as fluorescence, which is produced by the optical properties of early tooth decay. This enables us to treat tooth decay in its earliest stages as well as monitor teeth from visit to visit.
Another area where lasers have proven valuable is in the detection and localization of dental calculus (tartar) beneath the gums. Calculus is hardened or calcified bacterial plaque that attaches to the teeth. Using lasers, we can find and remove this calculus during periodontal (gum) therapy. Lasers are also helpful in detecting dysplastic (“dys” – altered; “plasia” – growth) or precancerous tissue as well as cancerous tissues. And should we find any of these conditions, lasers are extremely useful in removing tissue close to the margins or edges of where diseased tissue meets healthy tissue. But best of all, lasers are minimally invasive and can result in less tissue removal, less bleeding, and less discomfort for patients after surgery.
For many people, when they hear the term “laser,” they immediately envision a futuristic science fiction movie. However, did you know that lasers have been used in the medical industry for years? Furthermore, this revolutionary technology is now beginning to do the same within the field of dentistry.
Lasers get their name from “Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation” and are literally beams of light that have a single wavelength. Unlike traditional white light or daylight that is a continuum of light with many wavelengths corresponding to the visible spectrum or rainbow, a laser light beam is just a single color.
Dental laser usage typically falls into three categories: disease diagnosis; soft tissue procedures of the gums, lips, and tongue; and hard tissue procedures of the bone or tooth enamel and dentin. For example, common uses include diagnosing cavities, treating disease, and removing both diseased gum tissues and tooth structure, as in decay. They were first used in dentistry for soft tissue surgery such as gum line reshaping procedures and tissue testing (biopsies). In 1997, dentists started using them for removing decay and preparing the tooth enamel and dentin in preparation for fillings. More recently, dentists are using lasers to help detect and diagnose dental disease, as they are especially helpful in identifying dysplastic (“dys” – altered; “plasia” – growth) or precancerous tissue as well as cancerous tissues. Thus they have been used for removing both malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous) lesions in some cases.
As you now see, laser dentistry is an important tool we use at our office to provide our patients with optimal dental care and treatments. And if you want to learn more about laser dentistry, read the article “Lasers Shine A Light On Dentistry.” Or if you want to schedule an appointment to see if laser dentistry is right for you, contact us today.
A veneer is a cosmetic dental procedure that we use in some situations to correct discolored teeth, small spaces or gaps between teeth, small chips or oddly shaped teeth, and teeth that are slightly misaligned by placing a thin shell covering over the teeth. They are artistically hand-crafted by lab technicians out of tooth-colored porcelain using precise molds that we have made in our office. We attach veneers to the tooth's surface using a special adhesive that creates a chemical bond. Veneers are often a key component in a smile makeover.
Traditional veneers will require some tooth preparation, a process where we reduce or file down some of the facial (front, visible) portion of your tooth by 0.3 to 0.7 millimeters. For this reason this cosmetic procedure is not reversible.
How Long Do They Last?
Veneers can last from 7 to 20+ years depending on how you care for them. This may include sleeping in a protective, professionally made mouthguard. And while porcelain is a durable material that can withstand a great deal of pressure, you must remember that they are a type of glass. You could possibly shatter a veneer if you bite into anything that requires a hefty amount of twisting movement and biting pressure.
By using the latest technologies and procedures, we will create the naturally beautiful smile of your dreams and we will restore your mouth to full functionality and optimal health. Contact us today to discuss your questions or to schedule a consultation.
Want To Learn More?
Learn more about veneers when you continue reading the exclusive article from Dear Doctor, “Smile Design Enhanced With Porcelain Veneers.”