Posts for: March, 2016
When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.
"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."
As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.
For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.
If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.
If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.
If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”
As a regular part of your daily hygiene you may be using a mouthrinse — or “mouthwash” — mainly to keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean. Some mouthrinses, though, do more than give you fresher breath.
While there are countless mouthrinses available, we can place all of them into two broad categories: cosmetic and therapeutic. The first refresh your mouth and breath, usually with a mentholated or minty taste and smell that masks unpleasant odors. How well they work is mainly subjective: if you feel better after using them, they’ve done their job.
Therapeutic rinses have a different role, intended to improve oral health in some way. We can divide these into anti-cariogenic (decay prevention) or anti-bacterial rinses. You can find fluoride-based anti-cariogenic rinses over-the-counter in retail or drug stores, usually containing about .05% sodium fluoride per volume. Numerous studies have shown these rinses highly effective in preventing tooth decay when used with daily brushing and flossing.
Likewise, over-the-counter antibacterial rinses have proven somewhat effective in reducing bacteria that leads to dental disease. Formulated usually with triclosan, sanguinaria extract, zinc or essential oils, they can also help reduce the incidence of gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), but only if used in conjunction with brushing and flossing.
Perhaps, though, the most widely studied and substantiated therapeutic mouthrinse is chlorhexidine, a prescription-only rinse. Chlorhexidine inhibits the formation of bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces, the main trigger for both tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. It’s often used as a post-surgery rinse when brushing and flossing may not be possible, but dentists will often prescribe it for patients who have a high propensity for dental disease.
Using a mouthrinse depends on your current oral health and personal preferences. Therapeutically, most people gain some added tooth strength protection from using a fluoride rinse in their daily hygiene. If fresh breath and the way your mouth feels are important to you, you should consider such a rinse that also has a pleasant taste and effect for you. We can further discuss with you whether a different type of rinse, or a prescription-strength formula, might be best for your particular needs.
If you would like more information on mouthrinses, 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 “Mouthrinses.”
Cosmetic dental issues can make you feel self-conscious about talking or smiling and may even affect your self-esteem. Your Madisonville, KY, dentists, Drs. Ben Baldwin and Stuart Baldwin, offer a variety of cosmetic dentistry services that will help you feel proud of your smile again.
Crowns not only improve the appearance of teeth, but help stabilize broken, chipped or fragile teeth. Crowns completely cover your tooth and are an excellent choice if you have a cosmetic issue, such as a discolored tooth or one that's a little too small or oddly shaped. Porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look just like your natural tooth enamel and are very durable. Crowns can also be made with gold and other types of metal.
Bridges consist of two crowns that support a false tooth or teeth in the center. They're a good choice if you need to replace a missing tooth. Bridges are usually made with porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Whether your teeth are naturally yellow or they've become duller due to years of drinking cola, tea, coffee, wine or other beverages, teeth whitening can help brighten your smile. Professional teeth whitening from your Madisonville cosmetic dentist offers several benefits that you can't get with store-bought whitening kits. Results last years longer, and you'll see dramatic results after just one visit. In fact, teeth are usually three- to eight-shades lighter after one treatment.
Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth. Titanium implants take the place of missing tooth roots and provide a stable foundation for the crown that will be added to the top of the implant. Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they offer a long-lasting, comfortable solution to tooth loss.
Partial and full dentures are used to replace several missing teeth or all of them. Dentures restore your ability to speak and chew and improve your appearance.
Composite bonding offers an simple way to fill spaces between teeth, hide discolorations or repair chips or fractures. The putty-like composite resin bonding material can be shaped to fit your teeth perfectly. After it hardens, it's extremely strong and durable.
Increase your confidence level with a cosmetic dentistry treatment from Madisonville, KY's Baldwin Dental Group. Call Drs. Ben or Stuart Baldwin at (270) 245-1547 to schedule an appointment. It's never too late to improve your smile!