Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Teenagers and adults alike can improve their smile appearance with dental solutions like teeth whitening or orthodontics. But there are a few cosmetic solutions like porcelain veneers that are better suited for more mature teeth.
Veneers are composed of thin layers of dental porcelain that are bonded to the outside of teeth. They're kind of a tooth "mask" that hides blemishes like chips, discoloration or mild bite problems. They're often less involved and expensive than other types of dental restoration.
Even so, we usually need to remove some of the natural tooth's enamel before applying them. Veneers placed directly on unprepared teeth can appear bulky, so we remove some of the enamel to create a more natural look. And although usually only a slight amount, the alteration is permanent and will require the tooth to have some form of restoration from then on.
This usually doesn't pose a major issue for adults, but it could for a teenager's younger teeth. The nerve-filled dentin in a teenager's still developing tooth is thinner and closer to the pulp (nerve tissue) than in more mature teeth.
There's at least one situation, though, where veneers might be applied safely to a teenager's teeth without this concern. If the teen has abnormally small teeth and are receiving veneers to improve their appearance, they might not need alteration. Because the teeth are already thinner than normal, the "no-prep" veneers may not look bulky when directly bonded to them without preparation.
With most cases, though, it might be best to pursue other options that at the very least can make a cosmetic difference until their teeth are mature enough for veneers. For example, we might be able to repair chipped areas with composite resin material that we form and bond to the tooth to achieve a life-like appearance.
We can discuss these and other options for safely improving your teenager's smile. The important thing is to achieve a more confident appearance without endangering their future health.
If you would like more information on cosmetic treatments for teenagers, 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 “Veneers for Teenagers.”
Tooth-colored fillings fix dental decay, but unlike old-fashioned metal fillings, they leave your smile seamlessly restored. Dr. Jennifer Robb, your dentist in Lorain, OH, uses these cosmetic fillings in a variety of treatment situations. If you have a cavity, likely she'll place one in your tooth.
Materials used in tooth-colored fillings
There are a few different materials which are cosmetically pleasing, durable and long-lasting. They bond directly to enamel, are naturally-colored and may be used on the chewing surfaces or cheek-side (buccal) portions of a tooth. They work in interdental spaces as well. Your Lorain dentist will determine which material will work best for your cavity.
Restorative materials include:
- Composite resin, a flexible, yet strong, blend of plastic (acrylic) and glass particles which mimics natural tooth structure in sheen and color
- Glass ionomer, a blend of glass and sustained-released fluoride used to restore decay near the gum line, on tooth roots or other areas of the tooth which are not exposed to the strenuous pressures of biting and chewing
- Porcelain inlays and onlays, or partial crowns, which are formed in the dental lab to restore larger cavities involving the chewing surfaces and cusps, or corners, of larger teeth
All these materials feature a long-shelf life if you take care of your teeth with proper brushing and flossing, six-month cleanings and examinations with Dr. Robb. However, you should avoid hard foods, such as peanut brittle, because these can damage any filling or even dislodge it. Also, people who grind or clench their teeth usually experience excessive enamel wear. If this applies to you, ask Dr. Robb about a bite guard to cushion your teeth and your dental work.
When it's time for a filling...
The American Dental Association says that your dentist is your best ally in the fight against tooth decay. In addition to your diligent oral hygiene routine at home, and your tooth-friendly diet, Dr. Robb will provide you with careful six-month examinations which look for early signs of gum disease, decay, oral cancer and other issues. Your semi-annual cleanings remove the bacteria-filled plaque and tartar which begin cavities in the first place.
Find out more
Modern dentistry has much to offer in terms of preventive, restorative and cosmetic care. Tooth-colored fillings are just one item on a long list of services your family dentist provides so you have your best possible smile. If it's time for your routine check-up and professional cleaning, please call Dr. Robb's office in Lorain, OH, at (440) 960-1940.
The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.
"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")
Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)
Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).
Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.
Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.
What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”
While children are less likely than adults to experience periodontal (gum) disease, the same can't be said for tooth decay. One aggressive form of decay called early childhood caries (ECC) can have a profound effect on a child's dental development and future health.
That's why dentists who treat young children often use a variety of preventive measures to reduce the risk of ECC and other dental diseases. One popular method is dental sealants, dental material coatings applied to the biting surfaces of teeth that fill in the naturally occurring pits and crevices. These areas are highly susceptible to plaque formation, a bacterial biofilm of food particles that tends to accumulate on teeth. It's the bacteria that live in plaque that are most responsible for the formation of tooth decay.
Roughly one third of children between the ages of 6 and 11 have received some form of dental sealant. It's a quick and painless procedure applied during a routine office visit. The dentist brushes the sealant in liquid form on the teeth, and then hardens it with a special curing light. It's common for children to begin obtaining sealant protection as their molars begin to come in.
With their increased popularity among dentists, researchers have conducted a number of studies to see whether dental sealants have a measurable effect reducing tooth decay. After reviewing the cases of thousands of children over several years, many of these studies seemed to show that children who didn't receive sealants were more than twice as likely to get cavities as children who did.
As evidence continues to mount for dental sealants' effectiveness protecting young children from decay, both the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry now recommend it for all children. Not only can sealants help preserve children's teeth now, but they can reduce future costs for dental treatment that results from tooth decay.
Cosmetic dentistry continues to grow in popularity each year, with more and more dentists acquainting themselves with the necessary procedures to make patients' smiles shine. Below, are a few scenarios in which Dr. Jennifer Robb's Lorain office can help rejuvenate your look!
Do you have discolored teeth?
If your smile isn't as white as you'd like it to be, your teeth have likely become stained from coffee, tea, or other foods and beverages. Your Lorain dentist offers an affordable, easy cosmetic solution with an in-office whitening treatment. Unlike over-the-counter bleaching products, which can take months to produce results and require ongoing maintenance, professional whitening treatment from Dr. Jennifer Robb only takes 30 to 45 minutes, offers immediate results, and can last as long as a year!
Do you have a chip on the edge of your tooth?
Chips are very common dental injuries, whether it's from overzealously biting down on a piece of hard candy or experiencing a childhood accident. Although a misshapen tooth can be distracting and prevent you from smiling as comfortably as you should, these spaces can be filled in with bonding from our cosmetic dentist. Dr. Robb will carefully sculpt the bonding material into place and use a curing light to harden it. The material will be matched to the color of your teeth and is very durable and long-lasting.
Do you have missing teeth?
A missing tooth isn't just unsightly; it makes eating more difficult and can put your other teeth in jeopardy of shifting out of place. All of these problems can be solved with one amazing restoration—a dental implant from our Lorain office. Dental implants aren't just cosmetic, though! They help to stabilize both your jawbone and the rest of your teeth by replicating the structure of a natural tooth. They're designed to be comfortable, permanent, and low-maintenance, making them the best option for restoring your smile.
Interested? Give us a call!
For all your dental needs, contact Dr. Jennifer Robb in Lorain, OH, at (440) 960-1940 to schedule an appointment today!