Posts for: May, 2018
Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.
That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.
Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.
The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.
It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.
What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.
How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”
What your dentists in East Hartford, Hartford, and Meriden want you to know
If you aren’t brushing and flossing as often as you should, it’s never too late to start. So, what’s the big deal about brushing and flossing? The fact is keeping good oral hygiene habits including brushing and flossing will help you enjoy a healthy, beautiful smile for life.
Your dentists at Prestige Dental Network want to share how and why you should keep good oral hygiene habits. They have several convenient office locations in East Hartford, Hartford, and Meriden, CT, to serve your dental needs.
The goal of your good oral hygiene program is to remove plaque as thoroughly and frequently as you can. That’s because plaque contains millions of microscopic bacteria that produce toxic by-products which can destroy your smile. The toxins are responsible for tooth decay, gum, and periodontal disease and can cause loss of soft tissue, bone destruction, and tooth loss.
You can do a lot to prevent dental problems by starting a good oral hygiene program, which should include:
Brushing after meals and before you go to sleep; use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean all tooth surfaces using a gentle, circular motion. Also gently clean along the gumline, but remember not to use a lot of pressure or you can irritate your gums. You can also use an electric or sonic toothbrush if you prefer.
Flossing daily; you can use either unwaxed or waxed floss or floss picks if you prefer. You need to floss because brushing doesn’t get in between your teeth. That’s often where tooth decay, gum, and periodontal disease begin. As you floss, remember to wrap around each tooth as you go down in between teeth. This wrapping action ensures the floss stays against the side of your tooth and cleans effectively.
Regular visits to your dentist each year, and dental hygienist every six months are vital to take care of your smile, because you can’t do it alone. Your dentists at Prestige Dental Network use state-of-the-art diagnostic technology including digital x-rays, intraoral cameras, and lasers to monitor the health of your smile.
Your dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth free of hard and soft deposits, polish your teeth, and give you all the necessary tools and information for your good oral hygiene program.
To learn more about how to keep your smile healthy and beautiful and other dental topics, call Prestige Dental Network, with offices in East Hartford, Hartford, and Meriden, CT. Call today!
Pregnancy creates enormous changes in your physical body. These changes, especially on the hormonal level, can impact many aspects of your health including teeth and gums.
While it’s easy to let dental care take a back seat to other health concerns, you should actually pay close attention to it while you’re expecting. Here are 4 things to focus on during pregnancy to avoid problems with your dental health.
Don’t avoid dental work unless otherwise advised. You may be concerned about undergoing dental procedures during pregnancy, especially those that involve anesthesia. But both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Dental Association (ADA) encourage pregnant women to continue regular dental visits for cleanings and checkups. And unless your obstetrician advises otherwise, it’s usually safe to undergo dental work that can’t wait.
Be on the lookout for pregnancy gingivitis (gum disease). Because of the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, your gums could be more susceptible to gum disease caused by plaque buildup. That’s why you should be on alert for signs of a gum infection like swollen, reddened or bleeding gums. And be sure to practice diligent, daily brushing and flossing to remove disease-causing plaque, as well as regularly visiting your dentist for professional cleanings.
Make sure your diet is “tooth” friendly. Because of the changes in your body, you may experience food cravings that alter your normal dietary habits. So as much as possible, try to keep your food choices in line with what’s best for your teeth and gums: minimize your sugar intake (a prime food source for disease-causing bacteria); and focus on nutritiously balanced meals and snacks.
Keep your entire healthcare team informed. When you make your next dental appointment, tell your dentist you’re pregnant and how far along, any medications and supplements you’re taking, or any complications you may be experiencing. This information could have a bearing on how your dentist approaches any treatment. Likewise, let your obstetrician know about any issues with your teeth and gums, as well as any suggested dental work you may need.
If you would like more information on dental care during pregnancy, 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 “Dental Care during Pregnancy.”
For generations, dentures have helped people avoid the dire consequences of total teeth loss. Now, implant technology is making them even better.
Composed of life-like prosthetic teeth fixed within a plastic or resin gum-colored base, dentures are manufactured to fit an individual patient’s mouth for maximum fit, comfort and performance. But dentures also have a critical drawback—they can’t stop bone loss in the jaw.
Bone is constantly regenerating as older cells dissolve and then are replaced by newer cells. In the jawbone, the forces generated when we chew travel through the teeth to the bone and help stimulate this new cell growth. When teeth are missing, though, the bone doesn’t receive this stimulus and may not regenerate at a healthy rate, resulting in gradual bone loss.
Dentures can’t transmit this chewing stimulus to the bone. In fact, the pressure they produce as they rest on top of the gums may actually accelerate bone loss. Over time then, a denture’s once secure and comfortable fit becomes loose.
In the past, most patients with loose dentures have had them relined with new dental material to improve fit, or have new dentures created to conform to the changed contours of the jaws. But implant technology now offers another alternative.
Implants are in essence a tooth root replacement. Dentists surgically implant a titanium metal post directly into the jawbone that naturally attracts bone cells to grow and adhere to it over time (a process called osseointegration). This not only creates a secure and lasting hold, it can also stop or even reverse bone loss.
Most people know implants as single tooth replacements with a porcelain crown attached to the titanium post. But a few strategically placed implants can also support either removable or fixed dentures. Removable dentures (also called overdentures) usually need only 3 or 4 implants on the top jaw and 2 on the bottom jaw for support through built-in connectors in the dentures that attach to the implants. A fixed bridge may require 4-6 implants to which they are permanently attached.
There are pros and cons for each of these options and they’re both more expensive than traditional dentures. In the long run, though, implant-supported dentures could be more beneficial for your bone health and hold their fit longer.
Many patients are inspired to visit the dentist to ask if there’s any way that their smile can look better. They want brighter, better-aligned, contoured, nice teeth that are all the same size. One or more of the cosmetic dentistry options available at Prestige Dental Network in Meriden, Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford, CT can give you the dream smile you’ve always wished you could have.
Cosmetic Smile Challenges
Living with an imperfect smile can be a major challenge—especially if you’re forced to spend a lot of time around others because of work, school, and other obligations. It’s natural to glance at a person’s teeth when they talk or smile, which is why it can be a source of insecurity. If you have a challenged smile, whether the problem is gaps between the teeth, crowding, or “extra” teeth, a dental solution is available to help your case.
Cosmetic Treatments That Might Help
Just about any aesthetic smile problem can be improved with the modern cosmetic dentistry treatments available at Prestige Dental Network in Meriden, Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford. These are some of the treatments that may help your smile:
- Teeth bleaching, which changes the color of your teeth up to eight shades.
- Veneers, which form an attractive and protective shell over your front teeth.
- Crowns, for when a tooth is almost completely eroded on the outside but it still has a strong root.
- Tooth-colored dental fillings to restore strength and protect the tooth from decay, while preserving the white exterior.
A Limitless Smile
You shouldn’t feel limited, whether socially or professionally, by the current appearance of your teeth. Your smile is an expression of how you feel and how well you take care of yourself. Go to a dentist to discuss your cosmetic options—you may find that a limitless smile has been within your reach all along.
Start with a Consultation
The first step toward bettering your smile is to pick up the phone and schedule a consultation. Call Prestige Dental Network in Meriden, Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford, CT at (855) 697-7378 to set a convenient date and time to visit the office.