Posts for: January, 2018
In real life he was a hard-charging basketball player through high school and college. In TV and the movies, he has gone head-to-head with serial killers, assorted bad guys… even mysterious paranormal forces. So would you believe that David Duchovny, who played Agent Fox Mulder in The X-Files and starred in countless other large and small-screen productions, lost his front teeth… in an elevator accident?
“I was running for the elevator at my high school when the door shut on my arm,” he explained. “The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital. I had fainted, fallen on my face, and knocked out my two front teeth.” Looking at Duchovny now, you’d never know his front teeth weren’t natural. But that’s not “movie magic” — it’s the art and science of modern dentistry.
How do dentists go about replacing lost teeth with natural-looking prosthetics? Today, there are two widely used tooth replacement procedures: dental implants and bridgework. When a natural tooth can’t be saved — due to advanced decay, periodontal disease, or an accident like Duchovny’s — these methods offer good looking, fully functional replacements. So what’s the difference between the two? Essentially, it’s a matter of how the replacement teeth are supported.
With state-of-the-art dental implants, support for the replacement tooth (or teeth) comes from small titanium inserts, which are implanted directly into the bone of the jaw. In time these become fused with the bone itself, providing a solid anchorage. What’s more, they actually help prevent the bone loss that naturally occurs after tooth loss. The crowns — lifelike replacements for the visible part of the tooth — are securely attached to the implants via special connectors called abutments.
In traditional bridgework, the existing natural teeth on either side of a gap are used to support the replacement crowns that “bridge” the gap. Here’s how it works: A one-piece unit is custom-fabricated, consisting of prosthetic crowns to replace missing teeth, plus caps to cover the adjacent (abutment) teeth on each side. Those abutment teeth must be shaped so the caps can fit over them; this is done by carefully removing some of the outer tooth material. Then the whole bridge unit is securely cemented in place.
While both systems have been used successfully for decades, bridgework is now being gradually supplanted by implants. That’s because dental implants don’t have any negative impact on nearby healthy teeth, while bridgework requires that abutment teeth be shaped for crowns, and puts additional stresses on them. Dental implants also generally last far longer than bridges — the rest of your life, if given proper care. However, they are initially more expensive (though they may prove more economical in the long run), and not everyone is a candidate for the minor surgery they require.
Which method is best for you? Don’t try using paranormal powers to find out: Come in and talk to us. If you would like more information about tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework,” and “Dental Implants.”
Bad teeth? Dental veneers can give you the dream smile you've always wanted. Veneers are thin shells made of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front of the teeth. Diamond Dental offers porcelain veneers to their patients. Dr. Ratna Vedullapalli is one of the finest dentists in Newtown, CT.
1. Fix Dental Issues
Veneers can restore your smile and make you look more attractive instantly. One of the benefits of veneers is the fact that they can fix many cosmetic dental problems at the same time. These porcelain shells fit over the teeth changing their size, shape, and length. Veneers are routinely used to fix misaligned teeth, gapped teeth, cracked teeth, crooked teeth, and worn-down teeth.
2. Hide Imperfections
Dental veneers can make an imperfect smile look amazing. Veneers can hide dental imperfections that can be difficult to correct. Veneers have helped millions of people enhance their smiles. These shells have become very popular due to their simplicity and versatility.
3. Strengthen Teeth
Dental veneers can strengthen and protect teeth chipped or cracked teeth. This is possible due to the durable ceramic material that composes veneers as they cover your teeth. Veneers provide strength comparable to enamel. These shells have proven time and time again to be resistant to wear and fractures.
4. Whiten Your Smile
Smile! Teeth whitening has never been easier. Dental veneers can give you a bright, white smile instantly. Dental veneers are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color. Nothing is more rejuvenating than a dazzling white smile. Now that's something to smile about.
5. Boost Your Self-Esteem
Low self-esteem results from a poor self-image, which can lead to mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. How you feel about yourself also affects your confidence, work, relationships, and well-being. Veneers will improve your look and help you feel good about yourself. Consult with a dentist in Newtown, CT, to find out if veneers are right for you.
Don't let a bad smile hold you back in life. Say yes to porcelain veneers! Call Diamond Dental at (203) 403-2428 now to schedule a dental consultation in Newtown, CT. Porcelain veneers will do you and your smile a world of good.
There are instances when a general dentist will remove (extract) a problem tooth. At other times, though, the same dentist may refer a patient needing an extraction to an oral surgeon. Why the difference?
The procedure performed by a general dentist is referred to as a “simple tooth extraction.” “Simple” doesn’t mean easy and requiring no skill or expertise — it certainly does. In this case, the term refers to the anatomy of the tooth being extracted, particularly its roots.
Teeth that respond well in a simple extraction have an uncomplicated root system. The path of removal, usually with a single root involved, is fairly straight and without extreme angles. In the hands of a skilled and experienced dentist, it can be removed with little to no discomfort.
Dentists actually must use finesse to remove a tooth from its socket. The tooth is held in place with tiny collagen fibers that extend from a tough, elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament, which lies between the teeth and the bone. With some manipulation, a dentist can loosen these fibers, which then makes removing the tooth much easier. All of this can usually be performed with local anesthesia.
Of course, to determine if a tooth can be removed this way, we must conduct a thorough dental examination first, including x-ray imaging to determine the exact nature and location of the roots. If the exam reveals the root system is more complex, or that there are defects to the bone or the tooth that could make a simple extraction difficult (resulting, for example, in not removing the crown and root in one piece), then the tooth may need to be removed surgically.
Such situations require the skill and resources of an oral surgeon. These specialists perform a number of surgical procedures related to the mouth and face; as procedures go, extraction is among the most routine. Using local anesthesia and post-operative pain management, undergoing a surgical extraction involves only minimal discomfort and a very short recovery time.
After examining your tooth we’ll recommend the best course for extraction, whether simple or surgical. In either case, we’ll see that your problem tooth is extracted as efficiently and painlessly as possible.
If you would like more information on tooth extractions, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Simple Tooth Extraction?”