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Cosmetic dentistry has the power to actually change your life. Each year, people who are dissatisfied with their smiles visit cosmetic dentists in order to whiten and brighten their teeth, have crooked teeth straightened, repair teeth that have been chipped or damaged, receive dental implants, have work done to improve the health and appearance of their gums, and more.
When the procedures are done correctly, the patient is able to walk away feeling more confident and beautiful than ever before. While the benefits are great, though, many people still have their concerns and reservations. Fortunately, asking the right questions can help you prepare for a cosmetic procedure and feel much more comfortable and confident in the process. This guide will highlight some of the most important questions you can ask your cosmetic dentist.
What is the Proposed Outcome of Treatment?
This may seem like an obvious question, but it’s important that, before beginning the procedure, you know exactly what the outcome will be and what your smile will look like. Find out the projected color, shape, texture, and similar properties of the teeth and jawbone (where applicable). Make sure you’re satisfied that the result looks realistic and pleasing before proceeding.
How Many Office Visits Will Be Required?
While some treatments may be able to be completed in one visit to your dentist’s office, others may require you to come back multiple times for completion or follow-ups. It’s a good idea to ask your dentist how many times you’ll need to come in and how long each visit will take before scheduling your procedure. You should also ask whether or not there are any restrictions on eating or drinking in the hours leading up to a procedure.
Are Any Additional Treatments Required?
If you’re looking to make major changes to your smile, you may be required to undergo more than one specific procedure. Get to know all of the steps required to achieve the end goal, and how long you will need to wait in between each procedure. Make sure that you work with scheduling to ensure that the least possible time is spent and that your time is optimized so that you can enjoy the end result as quickly as possible.
Will Anesthesia Be Used? 
Some cosmetic dental procedures will require that a patient receive a local or general anesthetic in order to ensure your comfort. Depending on the method, you may need to make arrangements to have someone drive you home from your procedure.
How Should I Care for My Teeth After?
In order for you to fully enjoy the results of your procedure, you’ll need to take certain steps to care for and maintain your teeth and oral health. Be sure to spend time carefully discussing these requirements with your cosmetic dental professional before going home, and always call your dentist with questions, should they arise later on.
How Long Will the Results Hold?
Is this cosmetic procedure a temporary or permanent solution? If it is temporary, how frequently will you need to go back in and have more work done? This will help you gauge whether or not the procedure is truly worth your time and will help you plan out a projected budget for your cosmetic work. A good cosmetic dentist will be upfront and honest with you about what to expect here.
Taking the time to ask questions of your cosmetic dentist can make the difference between a stellar experience and a crummy one. Dr. Bruce McArthur is more than happy to address any questions or concerns you may have. Give us a call today to learn more about the cosmetic dental procedures that interest you.
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Cosmetic Dentistry 101

by on May 12, 2016 | Posted in Blog

Throughout the years, numerous studies have revealed that an individual’s smile is considered to be his or her most attractive feature. So what happens if you’re not happy with the way your smile looks? Those who are dissatisfied with their teeth and gums are prone to smiling less as the result of feelings of insecurity. Ultimately, this can lead to problems with self-esteem and personal relationships, as well as a reduced quality of life.

The good news is that there’s absolutely no reason why you should have to feel down and out about your smile. Whether time, genetics, accidents, or other causes have contributed to your oral woes, there is a solution: cosmetic dentistry. This post will highlight some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures that are done to enhance natural beauty and create perfect smiles.

Tooth Whitening

Tooth whitening or bleaching is, by far, one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed today. Throughout the years, your teeth may have become stained or discolored. Different whitening options are available to restore your teeth back to their natural beauty quickly, painlessly, and affordably. Make sure to discuss all of your options with a trusted dentist before moving forward with the process.

Bonding

Those with chipped, broken, or cracked teeth may feel self-conscious about their smiles. Bonding works to improve the appearance of these teeth when tooth-colored materials are applied to the surface of the tooth.

Veneers

Veneers are another great option for people who are unhappy with one or more of their teeth due to staining, chips, crookedness, or irregular shaping. These custom-made shells are designed to match your other teeth and cover up problem areas.

Crowns

A crown works to add strength and support to a weak tooth and/or to improve a tooth’s appearance by acting as a cover. Crowns may be made from gold or alloys, and porcelain options are also available to better match natural tooth color.

Braces

Those with crooked teeth, overcrowding, or poor dental alignment might consider braces. Individuals who are concerned with the appearance of braces should talk to their dentist about Invisalign and similar options.

Dental Implants

When one or more of your teeth are missing, you may be a good candidate for dental implants. Implants are used as a means of replacing missing teeth with units that blend perfectly with other teeth and restore a smile to perfection. Before moving forward with dental implants, your dentist will need to evaluate your dental history to ensure that your oral health is up to snuff.

Bridges

Fixed and removable bridges are available for individuals with missing teeth. The bridge is crafted from materials including gold, alloys, porcelain, or a combination thereof. While a fixed bridge is attached directly to the jaw and must be removed by a dental professional, removable bridges can be taken out and cleaned at home. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health in order to help you make the right decision for your smile.

Dentures

In some cases, most or all of an individual’s teeth may be missing, or may be severely damaged and in need of removal. In cases like these, a simple, effective, and affordable solution is to replace natural teeth with dentures. Dentures are custom-made to fit a patient’s mouth and will have the appearance of natural teeth with all of the functionality to chew and talk normally, and to smile beautifully.

Don’t let a less than perfect smile hold you back any longer. Contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS about your options for cosmetic dentistry in order to find a solution that’s right for you. Give us a call today to start moving towards a better, brighter smile.

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Dental implants: they’re not just for grandma anymore!
The dental implant market is exploding with a growth rate of 9.7 percent between 2014 and 2020. Why this sudden boom? One major reason is that the materials and technology behind implants are better and more affordable than ever before. This means that your dentist can give you stunningly beautiful teeth that look completely natural and offer comfort and functionality – all on a budget you can afford. The end result is a dazzling smile that will boost your self confidence and leaving you feeling fabulous.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are simply artificial tooth roots that are placed into your mouth. Their primary purpose is to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. In other words, they act as an orthodontic anchor. Your dentist will take care to place the implant with ample time for your implant to ossiointegrate with your jaw’s natural bones. This will keep the implant and replacement teeth healthy and beautiful for many years.  You’ll find that most implants are  made of materials like titanium or zirconium, which can form an intimate bond to your facial structure. Once the dentist has confirmed that the implant has been fully integrated, you’re ready for your brand new replacement teeth or bridge.
Could I Be a Candidate for Dental Implants?
Generally speaking, any person who has lost a tooth or multiple teeth is considered to be a candidate for dental implants. Going beyond this, though, a reputable dentist will look beyond your most basic needs and evaluate your overall oral health. It’s important for you to be in good health in order for dental implants to be truly compatible with your bone structure and allow for a successful procedure. Significant gum decay, uncontrolled diabetes, some cancers, radiation to the jaw, heavy drinking or alcoholism, and smoking can all create problems with the process, but your dentist will be the final judge. It’s important that you keep your dental professional informed about your medical history and any medications that you are currently taking to ensure that he or she has a complete, big picture look at what’s going on with your oral health.  With all of this information at hand, your dentist can make the best decision about your candidacy.
What Types of Dental Implants Are Available?
The where and how of dental implant placement is dependent upon a thorough assessment of your mouth and jaws, and how your teeth function within that space. This involves the consideration of your mouth and bite, in addition to similar details. From here, your dental professional will determine which route to take.
  • Single tooth replacement — Here, an abutment is attached to the dental implant either immediately upon its placement or after a short period of healing. A crown abuts (joins) the implant in order to replace a missing tooth. The crown will have been custom fabricated to match your existing teeth and is cemented or screwed into the abutment for permanent placement.
  • Fixed multiple tooth replacement — This is similar to a single tooth replacement in that a permanent abutment, whether custom crowns or bridgework, is created to match your existing teeth and affixed to the dental implants. This can also help to halt bone loss.
  • Removable implant-supported replacement — If all of your teeth are missing from either the upper or lower half of your mouth, you may need to have numerous implants placed as a means of supporting a denture. For the lower portion of the mouth, two to six implants may be used, whereas the top portion demands no less than four implants. The denture may then have attachments that snap or click into place on the implants. In some cases, a milled bar can be used for added strength.
With the incredible advancements being made in the dental implant sector, there’s absolutely nothing standing between you and the smile of your dreams. Feel free to reach out to Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS, for more information on implants.
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You may think of your child’s orthodontist as someone who has the ability to reposition crooked teeth, but did you know that they can also expand an individual’s upper jaw? Through the usage of palatal expanders, orthodontists have the ability to manipulate jaw development in such a way that it establishes a more visually appealing and functional bite.

If your dental professional has mentioned the possibility of palatal expanders for your child, you are likely interested in learning as much as possible. This post will tell you everything you need to know about palatal expanders so that you can make the best decision for your child’s oral care.

A Breakdown of Palatal Expanders

The palatal expander is an appliance that is used to widen the upper jaw and the circumference of the palate (roof of the mouth). This allows the perimeter of an individual’s dental arch to increase, thus allowing for more space for the growth of teeth. In this way, the expander is able to prevent, correct, and reduce the severity of any number of problems that are associated with an upper jaw that may have otherwise been too narrow. Some of these issues may include:

Crossbite — In a normal mouth, the upper teeth close around the outside of the lower teeth. If your child has a narrow palate, though, this may actually be reversed, with the upper teeth biting inside of the teeth beneath. If this problem isn’t corrected in a timely manner, your child could experience asymmetrical growth of the lower jaw, leading to dental complications and the possibility of facial asymmetry. Palatal expanders can be used to correct a crossbite early in a child’s life.

Overcrowding — When your child’s palate is too narrow, it may not have the space to accommodate his or her upper teeth in their correct positions as they erupt through the gum tissue. By expanding the upper jaw through palatal expanders, issues related to overcrowding can be overcome.

Difficulty in Breathing — In many cases, a narrow or deep upper jaw can create difficulties for a child as he or she tries to breathe through their nose. To compensate for this, the child may continuously breathe through the mouth. This can lead to the inhalation of unfiltered bacteria, cause dry mouth, and even be the culprit behind halitosis. Palatal expanders widen and open the palate, making it easier for children to inhale and exhale through the nose.

Timing is Key 

When it comes to palatal expanders, time is of the essence. Unlike braces, which are effective at any age, palatal expanders must be utilized before the age of 16 — and preferably by the time a child reaches puberty. The reason for this is that palatal expanders capitalize on anatomical changes to the face that occur during growth. As a child grows, the growth plate that is situated in the center of palatal bone tissue is able to expand. This isn’t possible once puberty has been reached, thus making the expanders only effective during a limited window of time. Beyond the age of 16, most oral professionals will recommend jaw surgery.

Proper Care

It’s essential that your child maintain good dental hygiene practices throughout the process of upper jaw expansion. You will need to make sure that the palatal expander is carefully cleaned each time they brush their teeth with a fluoride toothpaste.

Taking care of your child’s dental health is a top priority. By arming yourself with the facts about palatal expanders, you can improve the quality of his or her life. Feel free to contact Dr. Bruce McArthur, DDS, with any questions or concerns you may have about palatal expanders.

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What is it that attracts you to others? If you’re like most people, you’re drawn to and captivated by a dazzling smile. People who smile big for all the world to see are happy, vibrant, and confident. Why? Because they have beautiful, healthy teeth and gums.

If your teeth are less than perfect, don’t fret — your quest for the holy grail of a fabulous smile is not over yet! Whether genetics, wear and tear, life experience, accidents, or other oral health issues have impacted your mouth, there are ways to remedy these issues. Through the power of cosmetic dentistry, you can achieve the smile of your dreams and show the world your true beauty.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

First things first. Before we proceed any further on our dental adventure, we first need to have a clear understanding of what cosmetic dentistry actually is. Cosmetic dentistry goes above and beyond the usual cleaning and inspection processes that are handled by your dental professionals during a routine, semi-annual checkup. This particular branch of dentistry zeroes in on specific dental procedures that help to improve the overall appearance of an individual’s teeth, gums, or bite. As indicated by the “cosmetic” tag, this line of dentistry puts its emphasis on the aesthetics of the dental formula as opposed to function; it’s all about making you feel confident whenever you flash your pearly whites.

Common Types of Cosmetic Dentistry

While one person may be unhappy with the color of their teeth and gums, another may feel insecure about the shape of his or her teeth. Fortunately, there are different branches of cosmetic dentistry, each of which focuses on specific problem areas. Some of the most common cosmetic dental procedures include:

Teeth Bleaching (Whitening) — This is, by far, the most popular procedure done in the cosmetic dentistry industry across the globe. Even though numerous over-the-counter teeth whitening products are available, most people feel more comfortable and confident when leaving this process to the experts — and for good reason. Using bleach throughout the whitening process is much safer and more successful when done under the supervision of a dentist.

Laser Whitening  — Another option for restoring dingy teeth to their former white glory is to go the laser whitening route. Here, the whitening process is completed with the assistance of a laser machine. This offers even more precision and longer-lasting results than standard teeth whitening procedures.

Gum Depigmentation — Dark spots on the gums can be very distressing and cause feelings of insecurity. The depigmentation process restores gums to their natural, healthy pink color.

Teeth Straightening — No one feels attractive or confident when their teeth are crooked. Cosmetic dental procedures can bring your teeth back to alignment for comfort and beauty.

Tooth Reshaping — It’s fairly common for individuals to be less than satisfied with the appearance or shape of their teeth. Jagged edges, chipped teeth, excessively long teeth, and crooked teeth are all issues that can be remedied with this type of procedure.

Dental Bridges — Dental bridges give you your full smile back! These bridges are false teeth, or pontics, that are placed between crowns as a means of filling the gaps that have been left by missing teeth. It’s the simplest, fastest, and most common means of replacing missing teeth.

Addition of Dental Material — In some cases, an individual may need to have dental material(s) added to his or her smile so that it can reach its full potential. This might involve the introduction of gum grafts, crowns or caps, porcelain veneers, and/or bonding to teeth or gums.

Achieving the perfect smile is well within your grasp. Schedule your cosmetic consultation now! 

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