In United States, many people do not find dental insurance to be a necessity. Most of them only seek for professional dental care and treatment when they encounter dental problems or during emergencies. However, oral healthcare is a basic need we must not ignore as it affects our overall hygiene. By understanding the common benefits of dental plan, you will eventually know how important for us to obtain this specific coverage.
To be frank, we do not need to stress the fact that dental plan can assist you to save money on dental procedures. All of us know that dental bills are costly and burdening. Without dental coverage, you may not be able to cover the large expenses on the major dental works done.
In order to avoid bad teeth and bad breath, all of us know that we need to maintain our overall oral health and hygiene from time to time. By just brushing your teeth everyday is insufficient. You still need to undergo cleanings, extracts, fillings, dental surgeries, X-rays, etc. one day when you grow older. Many people skip their regular dental check up because they do not have dental coverage and they even do not want to spend a single cent from their own pocket for their teeth. Just imagine if you are covered by oral health plan, your teeth will be maintained well and you are financially protected when you have toothache.
Many people are scared and worried when comes to emerging. Have you set next a portion of your income for dental health? What if one day you encounter emergency case and you need to undergo major dental surgery? Do you have enough funds to pay for the operation? If you have never planned for it, now it is time for you to consider this matter seriously. By acquiring a dental plan for yourself as well as your family members, you do not need to worry about any unexpected emergencies regarding oral health. You will be getting quality dental treatment.
To sum up, we have to admit that dental plan is expensive but it is indeed worthwhile to invest on it.
For those that hate the look of their smile, consider hiring a cosmetic dentist to step in and provide you with the care you need. These professionals will work with you, hand in hand, to get your smile looking as beautiful as you would like it to be. These professionals are able to talk to you, get an idea of what you believe your problems are and then offer a treatment option that's right for you. Many of those treatments are fast and effective. They can also make a dramatic difference in your ability to smile confidently again.
What Needs Done?
Each person's individual needs are very different from each other. You will likely need a consultation with a cosmetic dentist to determine what the best options for you are. The following are some examples of the most common procedures as well as how they could help you.
Whitening – It is one of the most popular types of treatments as it helps to brighten up the smile. These treatments can help to remove stains and discoloration from the teeth, creating a cleaner looking smile.
Shaping the enamel – Another solution for some is enamel shaping. Here, the provider uses a specialized method to remove or contour the same of the tooth to create a uniform look. It is especially helpful in situations where a tooth chip occurs.
Contouring – In this option, the dental care provider will reshape the tooth. It helps to repair situations including cracked, chipped or crooked teeth. It can also help some patients to avoid the use of braces to improve the smile without more invasive procedures.
Bonding – In some situations, they apply a product on the tooth's surface and then sculpt into the proper shape. This procedure is bonding. It can help to provide what looks like a new tooth in the mouth.
Veneers – In some situations, it is not possible to improve the current teeth and that is when procedures like veneers and implants can help. Here, the dentist can help hide or mask the teeth with the more destructive look. Veneers can be very effective in transforming a full smile in a fast and safe way.
For those that need care for oral health, you should contact your dental care provider. If your oral health is just fine but you need to improve the way your smile looks, contact a cosmetic dentist. He or she will work with you to determine what the best overall treatment option is for your needs and then determine what steps you should take to get the process started. Sometimes, more than one treatment option is best. In other cases, you may not need any treatment at all. During a consultation, you will learn about all of your options.[Top]
Myth 1 – Teeth Whitening ruins your tooth enamel
Not generally true! Professional Teeth Whitening product suppliers mostly use Hydrogen Peroxide or Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredients in their tooth whitener gels. The chemical hydrogen peroxide (HO) is a bleaching agent which converts into water (HO) and releases an Oxygen molecule (O) in the process of the chemical reaction. Both Water and Oxygen are common, safe components of our everyday lives.
The Oxygen particles penetrate the rough surface of your tooth (even though they appear smooth, they are microscopically rough, rod like crystal structures) and dislodge staining particles. I like to explain this by imagining the TV commercials which show how a clothes washing powder with oxygen lifts stains from your clothing.
The "bleach" Hydrogen Peroxide is not the same as household bleach containing ammonia, or other low-end, acid based tooth whitening products, and can be swallowed, within limits. In fact our own bodies produce Hydrogen Peroxide naturally!
Acidic products can remove enamel from your teeth. Look for teeth whitening products using Hydrogen Peroxide which is pH balanced, meaning they have no, or low acid levels. Putting acidity into perspective, you should be aware that everyday Orange Juice is shown in lab studies to soften (and potentially erode) tooth enamel by many times more than a professional hydrogen peroxide based tooth whitening gel could, if used correctly.
Myth 2 – Teeth Whitening is not Safe
Not true! Cosmetic Teeth Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide has been in use for 100 years. Most recognized dental bodies worldwide endorse tooth bleaching as a generally safe practice, when simple safety steps are followed. Any professional supplier of teeth whitening products will include adequate instructions for the safe use of their product.
Safety vs Risk with tooth whitening is generally centred on 2 main issues: Exposure of the gel to the gums and soft tissue of the mouth or lips, and tooth sensitivity. Both can be minimized by using professional products and minimizing the amount of time the bleaching gel is exposed to the gums or teeth.
As with any cosmetic procedure, there are potential risks. Thankfully with professional teeth whitening any side effects experienced are temporary and are not permanent. As with most cosmetic procedures, you may have to end some discomfort to look better. Sometimes I call this "Vain Pain".
Myth 3 – All whitening Gel is the same
Not true! Of the two major gel options, there is Carbamide Peroxide and Hydrogen Peroxide. Both produce the same active ingredient Hydrogen Peroxide, but Carbamide Peroxide action SLOWER on the teeth and is recommended for use only with an Accelerator Light (or will talk about that later) or for overnight use. Carbamide Peroxide concentrations contain roughly 1/3 of the active ingredient, Hydrogen Peroxide. As an example, 35% Carbamide Peroxide is roughly equal to 12% Hydrogen Peroxide.
Because Hydrogen Peroxide is an unstable chemical which reacts immediately, it is more expensive to produce. Many vendors offer only Carbamide Peroxide based products as a result. Stabilized Hydrogen Peroxide, while the most difficult and expensive to produce ,acts immediately on contact with the teeth and is best suited for short duration tooth whitening treatments without an accelerator light.
Myth 4 – Teeth Whitening Accelerator Lights do not work
Not generally true! Except in some cases. There are businesses who sell only take home teeth whitening kits, and some Dentists, who say that the LED Lights and other accelerator lights are just a gimmick and do not work.
There have been many studies produced which show that the use of a professional accelerator light does indeed accelerate the oxidization (the release of oxygen and chemical bleaching reaction) of tooth whitener gel. This is especially true with Carbamide Peroxide based whitening gels which react much slower chemically.
Ask yourself, how many Dentists and Cosmetic Dentistry businesses offer an "in-office", "chairside", "instant whitening" or "Power Whitening" treatment? Many of them! Now why would they offer this treatment if the accelerator lights did not work? From my own professional experience, there is no doubt that the professional quality Blue LED Accelerator lights enable a faster tooth whitening result when using Carbamide Peroxide gel. In our own studies and observations having worked with thousands of clients and compared the results with the same gel, over the same time period, with and without the LED Accelerator Lamp, we are sure there is a noticeable improvement with the light under these conditions.
But, not all Accelerator Lights are the same. Some Dentists use older technology lamps such as Plasma, UV and other technologies. These technologies function at a light spectrum which is known to cause heating or burning of the skin tissue and heating of the tooth surface to release the oxygen in the gel, unfortunately that can also mean UV damage to your mouth, gums and lips. There are also mini handheld LED lights you often see in TV Commercials – these are only toys and do not have enough power to have any effect.
Another case of where an accelerator light does not work well is if the provider uses a mouth tray to hold the gel against the teeth, and this tray is colored, is a "Silicone Impression" tray, or is a Pre-Filled Foam tray . These types of mouthguard trays do not allow the light frequency to pass through them and there are no accelerated bleaching effects as a result.
Modern, professional teeth whitening accelerator lamps all use LED light in the blue light spectrum, at a specific frequency which excites the oxygen release from the chemical, and accelerates the tooth whitening process. They are often known as "Cool LED" or "cold" light accelerators because they do not heat the teeth or surrounding tissue. As a result, they are perfectly safe, and the technology is FDA Apparoved.
Myth 5 – You need to go to a Dentist to get professional whitening results
Not true! Today, you can buy in Australia, professional strength tooth whitening products which you can use at home or as a service with a professional accelerator light and assistance – and not just from the Dentist.
Dentists are exclusively allowed to use the VERY STRONG bleaching gels, over 16% Hydrogen Peroxide, and up to 35% Hydrogen Peroxide. At these strengths of whitening gel, the real risks are tooth sensitivity and gum trauma. Dentists therefore use a special gum barrier which they apply to your gums prior to applying the strong gels. A Dentist will usually get a better whitening result in the same amount of time as a non-dental treatment, but there are costs to consider, both financially and in increased tooth sensitivity when using the stronger Dentist-only treatments.
For many years the Dentist's had the cosmetic teeth whitening market monopolized because professional teeth whitening technology was too expensive for anyone else. Today, the price and availability of professional tooth whitening products means you have many more choices and options.
Myth 6 – Teeth Bleaching Gels from everywhere other than USA, Australia or UK are unsafe
Not true! First of all, in this modern world, you may not even know it but products looking to be manufactured by a good American or Australian brand are mostly actually manufactured in China. This is true with all types of products and technology worldwide, due to simple economics.
There are many brands of teeth whitening products available in the market. You do not need to be concerned where they were manufactured, because it makes NO DIFFERENCE. The active chemical, hydrogen peroxide is the same the world over. Because Hydrogen Peroxide is also used as a disinfectant, bacteria can not live in this chemical and it will always be safe (ie; germ and bacteria free) to put Hydrogen Peroxide based gel into your mouth regardless of where it came from or how it was manufactured.
If the Hydrogen Peroxide gel is past its use by date or chemically expired, you will know right away, because the gel turns a milky white color which shows that it is already oxidized and will no longer be effective at whitening your teeth, it won ' t cause any harm.
Myth 7 – You need customized Mouthguard trays to get best whitening results
Not true! While Dentists offer custom mouth trays which costs a lot of money, there are also many home whitening kits providing the boil-n-bite thermoshrinking mouthguards which will work equally as well. The wholly custom trays may be a little more comfortable to wear, but they need to be, because in general, a Dentist's at-home teeth whitening kits require you to have the tray in your mouth for long periods of time, over weeks of use . There are non-dentist products which only require short time duration usage, so it does not matter as much if the mouthguard is less comfortable.
The other problem with mouthguards which are too form-fitted is that the gap between the teeth and the surface of the mouthguard is so small, that only the thinnest layer of whitening gel can fit between. The problem with this is less chemical = less whitening result, so you need to use the mouthguard and gel more frequently, over longer periods of time to get a good result.
Myth 8 – All teeth are the same and whitening results should be like the "Hollywood" smile
Unfortunately, some people have unrealistic expectations and can be disappointed with their teeth whitening results. This is not because professional teeth whitening products do not work, because they ALWAYS WORK to some degree. It's because they fail to understand that each person's teeth are unique in mineral composition, which means that tooth bleaching will produce a different result for each person. If your teeth are genetically more yellow than someone else, your results will not be as white, no matter who's product you use, how many times you try to whiten your teeth, or what the strength of the gel is. And some people have deep staining from antibiotics, tetracycline etc. which can not be easily removed and may never be completely removed. Also, there are people with genetically gray or blue tinted teeth for which Hydrogen Peroxide bleaching does not work as well as yellow or brown color tints.
People see the Hollywood Stars on TV and in Movies and believe they can get their teeth bleached to look like the movie stars. Unfortunately, that is not possible. Chemical Teeth Whitening has its limits of effectiveness and will not produce the pure white color (for most people) you see on Movie Stars. Does that mean that movie stars are just genetically lucky? No, it means that movie stars have often paid many thousands of dollars for Porcelain Veneers to straighten their teeth and make them pure white. Of course you have this option too, if you have the money, but a tooth whitening with hydrogen peroxide generally makes a noticeable difference in whiteness and brightness of natural teeth, at a much lower cost than Veneers.
Myth 9 – If I have Caps, Crowns, Veneers or Dentures so I can not whiten my teeth
Not true! While Hydrogen Peroxide only whitens natural teeth, it also cleans all surfaces, including man-made surfaces of caps, crowns, veneers and dentures. Some dentists say that hydrogen peroxide can weaken the bond of some of these artificial substances, or attack the metal components, but you should check with your dentist about your specific case before whitening your natural teeth if you are concerned.
It is always better to whiten your natural teeth FIRST if you are going to be getting any caps, crowns etc. fitted. This is because the dentist can then match the color of the artificial substance to your now whiter, natural teeth, giving an overall whiter smile.
Common Questions and Answers about Teeth Whitening:
Does Whitening Toothpaste work?
The problem here is that there is not a strong enough concentration of any chemical, and it is not concentrated on your teeth long enough to make ANY noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth. The only real "whiteness" if you can call it that, which is created by toothpaste is actually the abrasive action of the toothbrush or paste against your tooth enamel. This scratching DOES wear down tooth enamel and also removes large chunks of staining material on the tooth surface, but not the tiny staining particles which make teeth look more yellow. This is the same thing with "Tooth Polishes" which only act like a fine sandpaper to remove tooth enamel while brushing and will cause increased tooth sensitivity with prolonged use tooth enamel thins.
As with the Risk vs Reward argument, while there is significant damage caused to tooth enamel from tooth brushing over time, on balance this is better than the consequences of not cleaning your teeth.
Do not be fooled by those expensive "whitening toothpastes" – they do not make a noticeable difference to the whiteness of your teeth, they are abrasively removing enamel from your teeth and you're better off spending your money on something that does work.
Who is qualified for Teeth Whitening?
The generally recommended rules to define people who are suitable for teeth whitening are:
- Over 16 years of age (due to potential development of the teeth prior to this age, parental consent may be required)
- Not Pregnant or Lactating (this is an additional safety measure to protect babies, although you would not generally be able to swallow enough Hydrogen Peroxide from a normal teeth whitening treatment to harm your baby)
- No known allergies to Hydrogen Peroxide. If you have ever developed skin irritation when bleaching your hair with Hydrogen Peroxide, you may be allergic. But if you do not know you're allergic, it will become evident in the first few minutes of a whit whitening treatment, and you can simply stop the treatment. Any side effects, no matter how discomfort will disappear in a few days with no permanent damage.
Aside from these conditions, teeth whitening is not advisable for people with Dental Braces, people with gum disease, open cavities, leaking fillings, recent oral surgery, or other dental conditions. If in doubt, I recommend you visit your Dentist prior to using a professional strength teeth whitening product.
People with gray or blue tint color to their natural teeth may also not benefit as greatly from teeth whitening using Hydrogen Peroxide, as people with yellow or brown tint color.
If you have Gingivitis or Periodontal disease, any Hydrogen Peroxide bleach on your gum line will be painful and may produce a small amount of bleeding at the gum line. As a result, I do not recommend whitening your teeth until these issues are under control with your Dentist. What is interesting though, is that reports have shown that Hydrogen Peroxide can kill the bacteria which causes Gingivitis, possibly preventing further damage.
What are the Risks with Teeth Whitening?
Whitening treatments are generally safe, however, some of the potential complications of these treatments include:
GUM IRRITATION: Whitening gel that comes in contact with gum tissue during the treatment may cause infection and / or blanching or whitening of the gums, gum line or inside lips. This is due to inadvertent exposure of small areas of those tissues to the whitening gel. The inflammation and / or whitening of gums is transient, meaning it does not last, and any color change of the gum tissue will reverse within two hours, usually within 10-30 minutes. Persons with a history of mouth ulcers may develop temporary mouth ulcers which usually disappear within a few days after treatment.
TOOTH SENSITIVITY: Although more common with the in-office Dentist Treatments using very strong bleaching gels, some people can experience some tooth sensitivity for a period after the whitening treatment. People with existing sensitivity, recently cracked teeth, micro-cracks, open cavities, leaking fillings, or other dental conditions that cause sensitivity may find that those conditions increase or prolong tooth sensitivity after a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment.
SPOTS OR STREAKS: Some people may develop white spots or streaks on their teeth due to calcium deposits that naturally occur in teeth. These usually diminish within 24 hours.
RELAPSE: After a cosmetic teeth whitening treatment, it is natural for teeth color to regress somewhat over time. This is natural and should be very preliminary, but it can be accelerated by exposing your teeth to various staining agents, such as coffee, tea, tobacco, red wine, etc. You should not eat or drink anything except water during the first 60 minutes after a whit whitening treatment, and avoid tooth staining agents for 24 hours after (eat and drink white or clear colored foods during this time) The results of a Hydrogen Peroxide based tooth bleaching treatment are not intended to be permanent, and can last up to 2 years when using professional strength treatments. Secondary, repeat, or touch-up treatments may be needed to achieve or maintain the color you desire for your teeth.
How do I achieve best teeth whitening results?
Before answering this question, you should be thinking of the tooth whitening results from a single treatment, as a trade-off against the potential side-effects of a single treatment. The best answer is balance! Balance the potential results with the potential risk of side-effects. The highest concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide produce the best results in the shortest time, but also have the highest potential side-effects. My recommendation is middle of the road – not the strongest, and not the weakest to get a happy balance of results and risk.
Before you undertake a professional teeth whitening treatment, have your teeth cleaned professionally. At least in the smile area, which is the upper and lower 8-10 front teeth. REMEMBER, teeth are opaque so cleaning the BACK of the teeth is very important to the overall whitening results you will achieve. A Dental Cleaning will remove any excess materials stuck to the outside of your teeth and permit the Hydrogen Peroxide to work best at bleaching your natural teeth, evenly.
Use a professional strength teeth whitening gel. Many Pharmaceuticals, TV Ads and Internet companies promote teeth whitening products which use 3% or 6% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. These just do not work well at whitening teeth, and any effect they have taken a long time to achieve. The comparative cost difference is not that great between these low-end products and products of professional strength, but the time and effort required is. I recommend 12% Hydrogen Peroxide if available in your area, unless you are using a whitening treatment with a professional accelerator light which can use 35% Carbamide Peroxide. Of course the Dentist in-office power whitening treatments generally use gel much stronger than 12%, but beware of the potential side effects.
Remember, if your teeth are not as white as you would like after the first treatment, you can always allow some time to monitor your gums and teeth for any side-effects, then take an additional treatment (s). Provided the product you are using is not too expensive, this is the best and safest way to achieve optimal teeth whitening results.
How long does Teeth Whitening last?
This depends on the product you use to whiten your teeth, and the lifestyle you lead.
If you are a smoker, or regularly drink red wine or use any other heavily colored substances regularly, your whiter teeth will become stained again more quickly.
There is no absolute answer to this question, but in general, if you use a professional teeth whitening product for the full treatment as recommended, you may be able to keep the whiter teeth for up to 2 years if you are conscious of what you eat and drink, and maintain your teeth and oral health properly.
Most people are not saints and lead lives where they enjoy red wine or a curry etc. That's fine, but if you want to keep your whiter teeth you should brush them 60 minutes after you have consumed the food or drink. Research suggests you should not brush immediately after eating because the acid formed in your mouth when eating makes the tooth enamel softer and abrasive brushing of the teeth during this period can be detrimental.
I also recommend the use of Teeth Whitening Pens. They apply a thin layer of Hydrogen Peroxide to the teeth, at any time or place, and will bleach any staining close to the tooth surface (if the concentration is strong enough). Whitening Pens active ingredient only works for 30 to 60 seconds on the teeth because saliva washes it away, so choose a Whitening Pen which uses Hydrogen Peroxide (not Carbamide) and is professional strength gel. Whitening Pens are generally not suitable for removing deaf stains.
I have tooth sensitivity problems, can I still whiten my teeth?
Yes, and you have several options. You could use a desensitizing tooth paste for approximately 1 month prior to whitening your teeth and if sensitivity is reduced, you can use any product. But be aware that your sensitivity will likely increase again during or after the treatment, so I suggest choosing a mid strength whitening gel where you can remove it quickly if discomfort gets unbearable.
The other option is a low strength whitening gel. This will work over a longer period of time, but sometimes also increases sensitivity because of the amount of time required on the teeth to get a good result.
Probably the best option, in my opinion, is a Teeth Whitening Pen of at least 12% Hydrogen Peroxide concentration. Because you can paint the gel onto specific teeth and because the gel is washed away by saliva in less than a minute, this may produce the best results, with the least discomfort.
What should I do immediately after I whiten my teeth?
- Rinse the gel from your teeth and mouth without swallowing.
- Brush your teeth within 60 minutes using a tooth paste containing Fluoride to help seal the teeth
- Do not eat or drink colored foods, or smoke for at least 60 minutes
- If you have tooth sensitivity, use a desensitizing tooth paste
- If you have tingling in your gums, purchase from the Pharmacy a preparation designed to soothe gums. This will help to prevent mouth ulcers forming (if you are predisposed) and decrease the discomfort and duration of any potential gum irritation.
The simple rule to the best Teeth Whitening results
Concentration of Hydrogen Peroxide (Strength) + Time on the teeth (Time) = Results (Effectiveness)
When factoring in Time, you should also consider the consequences of time:
- More effort, meaning you may not complete the full treatment
- More inconvenience
- Enough active ingredient to chemically react over that time period. That is to say, just leaving any whitening gel on your teeth for 24 consecutive hours will not help because the Hydrogen Peroxide normally is fully reacted and spent within 20 minutes.
- Longer exposure of the mouthguard to the gums. Friction of the mouthguard can often cause gum irritation
- Longer exposure of the bleaching gel to the gums. Once again, the risk of gum irritation.
- Remember, there are limits to the whiteness achievable with natural teeth and these will vary with your tooth genetics, your lifestyle and the state of your teeth at the time of whitening.
More information and Teeth Whitening Product Reviews available by downloading the full report.[Top]
As long as you can remember, you’ve heard the words “cavities” and “gum disease” many times. Chances are you’ve had at least one cavity and one bout of gingivitis (low-level gum disease) so far in your life time. These tend to be the most common dental issues patients are familiar with. As there is a lot that goes on in the mouth as well as a wide range of foods and drinks that enter it throughout the day, many other dental issues can also occur. Some of these you may or may not have experienced:
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Chronic Bad Breath
- Chronic Dry Mouth
- Canker Sores
- Tooth and Jaw Pain
Causes of Dental Issues
There are multiple causes of the aforementioned common dental issues. Many causes are things a patient can do something about. Below are the common dental health issue causes:
Poor dental health and hygiene. Poor dental health as the result of improper or sub-par at-home oral hygiene is the most common cause for the majority of common dental issues. The lack of flossing and inconsistency of teeth brushing can leave decaying food particles in the mouth which cause tooth decay and gum disease which can then lead to additional oral health problems such as bad breath, lost teeth and weakened jaw bones.
Trauma. Trauma to the teeth or gums as a result of an injury can damage and weaken protective tissue that can make one’s mouth more susceptible to tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, jaw injury and lost teeth. Most common accidents to the mouth involve the breaking, cracking, chipping or losing of teeth. Should any of these happen, patients are to go to the nearest dentist or ER room ASAP as prompt treatment is needed to save the teeth.
Underlying overall health conditions. Autoimmune diseases such as HIV and health conditions such as diabetes can put one at an increased risk of dental health issues by making one’s teeth and gums more vulnerable to infection and disease. These aforementioned conditions also lower the mouth’s ability to fight off disease and infection.
Underlying oral conditions. Tooth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath and canker sores can all be the results of tooth decay, gum disease or another oral infection. A sore jaw, dry mouth and chronic bad breath can be the result of TMJ, bruxism (unconscious teeth grinding and jaw clenching) or another dysfunction in the functioning of the mouth.
There are many different causes to common dental issues. Some of the causes can be more easily reduced or dealt with by the oral hygiene habits of the patient. Others are more outside of the patient’s control and will require the help of a trained dental professional.
Regular, routine dental checkups and cleanings at the dental office play an important part in the prevention, diagnosis and prompt treatment of common oral health conditions. Whether or not you feel any discomfort or notice anything abnormal in your mouth, it is highly recommended that one schedules an appointment with their dentist every six months for a routine teeth cleaning and oral exam.[Top]
Practicing proper dental techniques and instilling good habits from a young age is very important; however there is still a high chance that your child will require additional dental care. It is extremely important for your child to visit the dentist on a regular basis so the dentist can keep an eye out for larger issues and provide recommendations as appropriate. Below are a few of the common dental procedures needed for kids:
Regular Cleaning – While children do their best to brush and floss their teeth, it can never hurt to have them looked over by a professional. Pediatric dentists have special tools to clean in those hard to access places (ie between and behind the teeth). This also provides an excellent time for the dentist to further educate the children about dental health and its importance.
Braces- Many children will require braces in order to align and straighten their teeth and bite. Braces are recommended to children with severe underbites, overbites, crooked teeth, and various structural issues with the jaw. Depending on the severity of the issue, braces can be needed for as a little as a few months or as long as a couple years.
Retainer- Similar to braces, retainers are given to children to align teeth and keep them straight. Retainers are custom made to fit each child's mouth and are often used after braces, generally only needed at night.
Sealants- Most dentists recommend applying sealants to children's' teeth at a young age to help avoid plaque buildup and cavities later in life. Sealants are added to the pitted / indented part of the tooth (the part that does the chewing) in order to keep out food particles and sugary liquids. Sealants are essentially invisible and the children will not notice a thing. If the sealants did not provide enough protection and your child does get a cavity, the dentist may recommend metal fillings or a steel crown. A dentist for kids can assist with this and any other procedures.
X-rays- These are commonly given to both children and adults at the dentist. While your teeth may look and feel fine, X-rays can detect issues before you even know they exist. It will literally provide you with a picture of your overall dental health.
Fluoride Treatments – Fluoride can come in a variety of forms, but is most commonly given to children as liquids or gels / foams. Fluoride works to alter the structure of the tooth, making it more resistant to plaque and cavities.[Top]
A dentist is a professional who focuses on the oral cavity of a patient and its surroundings. Most of the time, general dentistry is the usual practice of many dental professionals but there are a growing number of specialists who concentrate on one specialty in dentistry. These specialists are educated initially in general dentistry and then they take on maintenance or an advanced graduate training program, either immediately after they pass dentistry or they wait for a period of time after practicing general dentistry.
Formerly known as pedodontics, this aspect of the dental profession concentrates on children starting from infancy to late childhood. This means that when the child reaches the age when the first milk tooth comes out, the parents can bring him or her to see the pediatric dentist. The professional will check the primary eruption and then asses the next others over the span of several months. He will also teach the parents how to take care of these properly in such a way that the child will feel comfortable with the parent sticking a finger in his or her mouth. There are some subspecialties under this field, such as reconstructive dentistry. When the child is older, around ten years old, the introduction of an orthodontist may be in the works if there is an apparent malocclusion, as assessed by the pediatric specialist. The orthodontist deals with the correction of crooked teeth and misaligned bites.
This specialty deals with the use of certain dental applications such as dentures, bridges and many others. The specialists in these fields work closely or are in reality the same with those who specialize with oral and maxillofacial pathology and surgery. The use and maintenance of implants fall under this field and the dentist who installs them and contains them. They may also work closely with orthodontists if the need arises.
These dental practitioners work on many conditions and therapies that have to do with the pulp in our dental structure. The root canal is one of the more famous treatments that these professionals may do to their patients. There may be other illnesses included under this field that the specialist may also deal with.
Oral and Maxillofacial
This is one of the more complicated fields in dentistry. It covers a broad aspect of the profession but at the same time it focuses on the structure of the oral cavity and its surroundings exclusively. The professionals who deal with this aspect can have subspecialties in it as well. The dentist can choose to concentrate of radiology, pathology or surgery. In radiology, he can take x-rays of the patient's structure and interpret the results accordingly. In pathology, he can study and diagnose the basics of the diseases that occur in the region. Although it is not common, this professional can also treat or recommend a treatment for the diseases. In surgery, the dentist does the actual implementation of the treatment and correction based on the results of both radiologic and pathological fields.[Top]
Chances are, you do not have perfect, decay and disease-free teeth and gums. Most patients have at least one cavity and have had a bout or two with minor, reversible gum disease.
Maybe you've experienced bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity or lost teeth. If you went to the dentist, the dentist likely treated the condition to halt its progress or to eliminate the condition all together.
This treatment of a dental condition after it's already begun is called restorative dentistry, which is often partly covered by dental insurance.
While preventive treatments are used to avoid a lot of pain, discomfort, embarassment, excess dental office trips, and forking over funds, sometimes things happen that are out of your control. Sometimes you do not feel the pain and discomfort of a dental problem until it's too late. Accidents and other things may also occur and necessitate some of these more serious measures.
You do not have to feel embarrassed about it, though. Most of these procedures are very common, and chances are you've already experienced some of them yourself.
The goal of restorative dentistry is to protect and preserve the teeth. Here is a list of the most common procedures:
Fillings. This is a very common restorative dental procedure while the dentist will fill a hole in the outer surface of the tooth caused by plaque and tooth decay (cavities). The fillings can be gold, amalgam or composite resin. Resin fillings are the most expensive and least likely to be covered by insurance like amalgam fillings are. Amalgam fillings are most common because they are the least expensive.
Some patients (and dentists) prefer the composite resin fillings because of their appearance and their lack of mercury, which is in traditional amalgam fillings.
Crowns. This is simply a tooth-shaped and colored covering that is cemented over a tooth that is too poorly damaged by decay. Crowns are also used on top of dental implants which replace missing teeth. They are often made offsite in a dental lab, resulting in the need for multiple dental office visits. Some dental offices, however, have the technology to make crowns onsite, giving patients new crowns in a single office visit.
Inlays and Onlays. These dental procedures are ideal for patients with chipped teeth or those whose teeth are too disappointed for fillings, but not damaged enough for a crown.
Inlays are made of composite resin that is bonded to one cusp of the tooth (located on the chewing surface of the tooth). An onlay covers more than one cramp of the tooth and is sometimes called a partial crown.
Implants. Further, and possibly more serious, dental health issues can raise from missing teeth.
Implants are used to fill in these gaps and preserve the proper stability of a patient's remaining teeth.
Implants are made of three components: the titanium rod (implant), the abutment and the crown. The titanium implant is surgically inserted into the patient's jaw where the missing tooth formerly was. The abutment is then placed on top of the implant. Finally, a tooth-shaped crown is placed on top of the abutment.
Implants restore a patient's smile as well as reserve the strength of the jawbone and proper alignment of surrounding teeth.
Dentures. Some patients, many of which who are older, have lost all or most of their teeth due to a life time of wear and tear. A toothless mouth not only takes away from one's smile and self-confidence, it can hinder one's ability to eat and speak.
Patients in these circumstances would be best treated with dentures.
There are two common types of dentures: full and partial.
Dentures have come a long way thanks to modern dental technology. Some dentists now offer patients permanent dentures, called all-on-four dentures that use dental implants to anchor the implants into place in the mouth.
While fillings, crowns, implants, inlays and onlays and dentures are the most common restorative dental procedures , there are other procedures your dentist may recommend to preserve your teeth and smile.
It is important to schedule regular visits with your dentist and have your teeth examined when there's any kind of pain or discomfort.[Top]