Posts for category: Dental Procedures
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”
Via a recent Instagram post, pop diva Ariana Grande became the latest young celebrity to publicly acknowledge a dental milestone: having her wisdom teeth removed. The singer of hits such as “Break Free” and “Problem” posted an after-surgery picture of herself (wearing her signature cat-eye eyeliner), with a caption addressed to her teeth: “Peace out, final three wisdom teeth. It’s been real.”
With the post, Grande joined several other celebs (including Lily Allen, Paris Hilton and Emile Hirsch) who have shared their dental surgery experience with fans. Will "wisdom teeth removal" become a new trending topic on social media? We aren’t sure — but we can explain a bit about the procedure, and why many younger adults may need it.
Technically called the “third molars,” wisdom teeth usually begin to emerge from the gums between the ages of 17 and 25 — presumably, around the same time that a certain amount of wisdom emerges. Most people have four of these big molars, which are located all the way in the back of the mouth, on the left and right sides of the upper and lower jaws.
But when wisdom teeth begin to appear, there’s often a problem: Many people don’t have enough space in their jaws to accommodate them. When these molars lack sufficient space to fully erupt (emerge), they are said to be “impacted.” Impacted teeth can cause a number of serious problems: These may include pain, an increased potential for bacterial infections, periodontal disease, and even the formation of cysts (pockets of infection below the gum line), which can eventually lead to tooth and bone loss.
In most cases, the best treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is extraction (removal) of the problem teeth. Wisdom tooth extraction is a routine, in-office procedure that is usually performed under local anesthesia or “conscious sedation,” a type of anesthesia where the patient remains conscious (able to breathe normally and respond to stimuli), but is free from any pain or distress. Anti-anxiety medications may also be given, especially for those who are apprehensive about dental procedures.
So if you find you need your wisdom teeth extracted, don’t be afraid to “Break Free” like Ariana Grande did; whether you post the results on social media is entirely up to you. If you would like more information about wisdom tooth extraction, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Wisdom Teeth” and “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Would you like your teeth to be whiter but aren't sure you're a good candidate for professional teeth whitening? Your Anchorage, AK dentists--Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson and Dr. Frank Cavaness at Anchorage Dental Arts share several reasons you may benefit from teeth whitening.
The color of your teeth makes you reluctant to smile
Society places great value on a white, bright smile. When your teeth are dull or yellow, your self-esteem can suffer. Teeth whitening not only lightens your smile, but also improves your self-confidence. After your professional teeth whitening treatment from your Anchorage dentist, you'll no longer feel the need to hide your beautiful smile.
Your teeth are stained
Smoking or eating brightly colored foods and beverages can stain your teeth. Wine, cola, coffee, tea, sports drinks, berries and popsicles are the chief staining culprits, although any brightly colored food can dull your smile. Toothpaste helps remove surface stains but can't touch the stains that penetrate your enamel. Professional teeth whitening agents penetrate your enamel to remove the stains caused by years of smoking or consuming stain-causing foods and beverages.
Over-the-counter products aren't as effective as you would like
Over-the-counter whitening products may not produce the results you would like, or it may take weeks or months to lighten your teeth with store-bought kits. Professional teeth whitening agents are not only stronger, but also gentler. In just one visit, your teeth may be three- to eight-shades whiter. Professional whitening also offers longer-lasting results. If you avoid the foods and beverages that stain teeth, you can expect your results to last for several years.
Teeth whitening agents can't whiten crowns or bridges. Although whiteners don't penetrate these dental appliances, you can replace them to match the shade of your whitened teeth.
Are you interested in learning if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening treatment? If you live in the Anchorage, AK area, call (907) 276-1712 (middle Anchorage) and schedule an appointment. Transform your smile with teeth whitening!
A recent episode of “America’s Got Talent” featured an engaging 93-year-old strongman called The Mighty Atom Jr. The mature muscleman’s stunt: moving a full-sized car (laden with his octogenarian “kid brother,” his brother’s wife, plus Atom’s “lady friend”) using just his teeth. Grinning for host Howie Mandel, Atom proudly told the TV audience that his teeth were all his own; then he grasped a leather strap in his mouth, and successfully pulled the car from a standstill.
We’re pleased to see that the Atom has kept his natural teeth in good shape: He must have found time for brushing and flossing in between stunts. Needless to say, his “talent” isn’t one we’d recommend trying at home. But aside from pulling vehicles, teeth can also be chipped or fractured by more mundane (yet still risky) activities — playing sports, nibbling on pencils, or biting too hard on ice. What can you do if that happens to your teeth?
Fortunately, we have a number of ways to repair cracked or chipped teeth. One of the easiest and fastest is cosmetic bonding with tooth-colored resins. Bonding can be used to fill in small chips, cracks and discolorations in the teeth. The bonding material is a high-tech mixture of plastic and glass components that’s extremely lifelike, and can last for several years. Plus, it’s a procedure that can be done right in the office, with minimal preparation or discomfort. However, it may not be suitable for larger chips, and it isn’t the longest-lasting type of restoration.
When more of the tooth structure is missing, a crown (or cap) might be needed to restore the tooth’s appearance and function. This involves creating a replacement for the entire visible part of the tooth in a dental lab — or in some cases, right in the office. It typically involves making a model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors, then fabricating a replica, which will fit perfectly into the bite. Finally, the replacement crown is permanently cemented to the damaged tooth. A crown replacement can last for many years if the tooth’s roots are in good shape. But what if the roots have been dislodged?
In some cases it’s possible to re-implant a tooth that has been knocked out — especially if it has been carefully preserved, and receives immediate professional attention. But if a tooth can’t be saved (due to a deeply fractured root, for example) a dental implant offers today’s best option for tooth replacement. This procedure has a success rate of over 95 percent, and gives you a natural looking replacement tooth that can last for the rest of your life.
So what have we learned? If you take care of your teeth, like strongman Atom, they can last a long time — but if you need to move your car, go get the keys.
If you would like more information about tooth restoration, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
It’s important to be proud of your smile and cosmetic dentistry can help make that possible.
Spring might not be here yet but it’s not far behind. As winter melts away into warmer weather many thoughts turn to making changes to one’s appearance. Even the smallest cosmetic treatments can go a long way to enhancing your teeth. From the office of your Anchorage cosmetic dentists Dr. Robert Morehead, Dr. Max Swenson and Dr. Frank Cavaness, find out more about ways you can improve your smile.
Where do I start?
It all begins with a smile analysis. When you come in to see your restorative dentist in Anchorage we will examine your smile to first make sure it is healthy and free of decay, gum disease or other issues, as well as to determine your goals for cosmetic dentistry.
There are so many ways to change a smile and every patient’s needs are different. We want to find the right dental restoration or cosmetic dentistry procedure to meet those needs. By coming into our office for a consultation we can help you choose which treatment is right for you.
What are my options?
Cosmetic dentistry is a rather broad term. Of course, there are so many options to help you get your dream smile. Here are some of the cosmetic services we offer:
- Dental bonding and reshaping (for fixing minor flaws)
- Dental fillings
- Dental crowns
- Porcelain veneers
- Teeth whitening
- Dental bridges
- Partial and full dentures
- Dental implants
Whether you are looking for ways to brighten, straighten or reshape your smile, our Anchorage, AK cosmetic dentists can help you achieve your dream smile through any of the above options. The possibilities are endless!
Ready to get cosmetic dentistry in Anchorage, AK? Then turn to the experts at Alaska’s Trusted Dental. Call to schedule a consultation today.