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What is a Gum Lift?

A gum lift or gingivectomy is a procedure that can be done by a dentist to reshape the gums to provide a more pleasing smile. Gums are reshaped for numerous reasons: some people have gums that have not receded after the permanent tooth erupts, while others have lips that allow a lot of gum to show when a person smile. In some cases, gums can recede over time and expose more of the tooth surface than is desired.

Having a ‘gummy’ smile can cause a person to be very self-conscious about their appearance. Getting a gum lift is the same as getting a face lift if a person is not happy with their wrinkles or saggy eyelids; it is simply a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance and thus, the self-confidence. Gum lifts are normally only done on the front teeth as these are the ones that are most visible when a person smiles.

In the past, a gum lift was a painful dentistry treatment. It involved cutting the gums, stitches and weeks of recovery. Now, it can be done with the use of lasers where recovery is minimal. Patients usually only require over the counter pain relievers for a day or two following the procedure, and can eat and drink normally within a day.

To begin, dentists administer a local anesthesia where they then cut and reshape the gum line to make it more even and visually appealing. The use of lasers automatically seals off blood vessels so there is little or no bleeding. The procedure is quick. The gums can be lowered or raised, depending on the need.

Gum lifts are especially helpful when a patient is also getting other cosmetic dentistry work done. It is more visually appealing to have even gums when veneers are being applied, for instance. It is important to follow the instructions that the dentist gives a patient after the procedure is completed. Not taking care of the area can lead to infection. Follow-up visits to the dentist are equally important to keep that beautiful smile, too!

It is important to choose the dentist carefully. They need to have experience with the procedure to do it correctly. There is no substitute for an inexperienced cosmetic dentist when it comes to getting a gum lift. It is very important not to remove too much of the gum, as this can expose areas of the tooth that are supposed to be below the gum line. When done by an experienced professional, a gum lift can make a huge difference in the appearance, giving the patient a truly beautiful and winning smile.

Benefits of Laser Technology for Cosmetic Dentistry

One of the newest technologies in dental offices today are the use of the laser. It is still new enough that not all dentists have this technology, but the ones who do are proud of all the advantages lasers offer to patients. There are many benefits and no drawbacks or side effects at all. While traditional drills relied on heat and vibration to do the work, the laser is simply an extremely concentrated beam of light. There is no heat and no vibration at all.

One of the biggest benefits that lasers offer is the reduction of bleeding. The laser actually cauterizes the vessels as it works, greatly reducing the amount of bleeding in certain procedures. This is not only beneficial to the average patient, but allows the dentist to work on patients with health problems such as diabetes, heart problems and those who are on blood thinners. Because there is no actual cutting, lasers mean no stitches. The use of lasers means a much shorter healing time is needed. Lasers actually sterilize the area as the dentist works. This reduces the chances of infection to nearly nothing.

There is little or no pain when lasers are used, so this means that the patient is more comfortable during the procedures, and that there is virtually no need for anesthesia. Patients who are especially fearful of dental procedures tolerate the use of lasers with much greater ease and greatly reduced fear.

Lasers are much more precise to use than the traditional drill. It makes it much simpler for the dentist to work. It requires removing much less tooth surface when treating cavities or preparing teeth for cosmetic procedures. It allows the dentist to target areas precisely. When gums are being sculpted, it is much more precise there as well. The gum can be reshaped with a lot less gum loss.

When tooth whitening is desired, the use of the laser will enhance the effects of the bleaching agents used by the dentist. In bonding procedures, the laser is used to quickly harden the bonding material. The laser makes tooth shaping quick and simple. It makes the removal of old or defective tooth veneers much easier.

Lasers can be used to detect cavities that can’t be seen by the naked eye. They can actually ‘see’ inside of a tooth, reducing the need for x-rays. They can seal the small tubules that cause tooth sensitivity. They can be used to remove benign tumors from the mouth. They can actually be used to reduce the appearance and pain of cold sores!

It may all sound like science fiction, but it is the technology of today. You need to choose a dentist who has experience using a laser for dental procedures. But when you find one, you will never want to go back to the traditional drill.

Laser Dentistry: What Can it Treat?

Dentists, like all other specialists in the medical profession, are constantly looking for new and better ways of treating their patients. Medical research facilities constantly come up with new equipment and materials and, as a result, the pharmaceutical companies continually update their products. The result is that new and proven products are being introduced into doctors’ and dentists’ surgeries on a regular basis.

One of the pieces of equipment that has been around for many years, which was developed for varying treatments in the medical and dental world, is the laser. The word laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation and these lasers work with a concentrated light beam. This instrument has been honed and perfected over a period of more than 50 years and is now routinely used in ophthalmic (eye) surgery such as reshaping the cornea; dermatological (skin) and plastic surgery procedures, such as the removal of certain lesions and even tattoos; in neurological (brain) surgery and gynecologic procedures, among a host of other applications.

Dentists took note of the benefits of laser technology, because of its precision cutting properties which lessen any damage which may be caused to surrounding tissue; the reduction in bleeding, bruising and swelling; and much faster treatment and healing times. The net outcome is that the laser is now a commonly used instrument which most dentists who keep up to date on developments in their field now use routinely.

The most modern lasers can, in some cases, replace the drill to remove dental caries (or tooth decay). Not only is it silent, thus eliminating the dreaded whine we all associate with dentists, but it does not need the tooth to be anesthetized, meaning no more painful injections. The laser is also more precise than the drill, thus less of the healthy tooth around the caries is removed.

Periodontists, or gum specialists, use lasers to cut away badly infected gum tissue when treating gum diseases. As the laser cauterizes as it cuts, there is minimal bleeding and the periodontal surgeon can see the area being treated much more clearly, thereby being able to cut away only the infected areas without any of the healthy gum tissue. Healing and recovery from this procedure is also much faster and less painful. This same procedure is used in cosmetic dentistry to remove or raise the excess gum tissue which mars some people’s smiles. In order to remove the build up of plaque which leads to, and aggravates, periodontal diseases, a special low power carbon laser is used to do what is known as a deep cleaning, to remove all traces of plaque from both the teeth and the gums.

Cosmetic dentists use lasers in the tooth whitening procedure, where a solution of hydrogen peroxide is applied to the teeth, followed by the use of a laser beam to activate and speed up the effects. This treatment is totally painless and results in one’s teeth being a few shades lighter.

Finally, maxillo-oral-facial surgeons use the laser to take biopsy specimens and to remove small lesions within the oral cavity.

Dental Crown And Gold Crown Recommendations from a Cosmetic Dentist

In restorative dentistry a dental crown, or caps for teeth, look and function just like natural teeth. Your cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental crown if your tooth has enough decay that it cannot hold a filling, or if your tooth is cracked or broken and in danger of cracking down into the root if left unattended. A dental crown covers your tooth completely. It fits snugly at the gum and protects what remains of the natural tooth.

Why Have A Dental Crown?

The dental crown serves two important functions. First, it restores the appearance of your teeth and your face. If your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, your cosmetic dentist will need to restore it prior to preparing a cap. Teeth also support the muscles in our faces, so anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you smile.

Second, a dental crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned; it will also make sure that other teeth don't shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.

What Is a Dental Crown Made of?

A dental crown is most often made of gold or porcelain. A dental crown also can be made of stainless steel, but those are often temporary and not designed for long-term wear.

A porcelain dental crown is usually built on a metal base, which fits snugly over the natural tooth. Your dentist will choose a porcelain that matches the color of your natural teeth. A porcelain dental crown is usually so carefully matched in color, it cannot be distinguished from your natural teeth. Many people choose porcelain dental crowns for the cosmetic appearance and the confidence it give them.

New materials are now available in cosmetic dentistry that allow your cosmetic dentist to use an "all-ceramic" dental crown in some cases. They have a beautiful life-like appearance and short-term studies support their success, with long-term trials ongoing.

A dental crown can be made of all gold. Some people prefer not to use a gold crown because it stands out from the other teeth in appearance. At the same time, if the gold crown is on a back molar, some people feel the cosmetic issue is not a big one. Your cosmetic dentist will discuss the types of materials available if a gold crown is recommended.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Still the Rule!

Once your dental crown is in place, make sure the area is brushed well and that you floss below the gum line. While the dental crown protects your remaining tooth from further decay, you must protect the base of the dental crown from bacterial growth and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!

Your Gold Crown is not just royal jewelry for your mouth

Dental Makeover: Does My Smile Make Me Look Older?

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Is the reflection you see not quite what you used to see? Do you say to yourself, "I don't feel any older, but I see an older person." Getting older is an inevitable process, but you don't have to look older, too.

When it comes to looking younger, there are all sorts of products and procedures available so you can look your best (such as anti-wrinkle gels, cosmetics, skin treatments, facelifts and day spas). One of the procedures that is the least emphasized, but can have a profound yet subtle effect, is an improved smile from a dental makeover.

Why Does Your Smile Look Older?

It's typical that most adults don't realize that their smile is not as bright as it used to be. Coffee, tea, red wine, smoking, and the normal, and sometimes heavy, wearing away of tooth enamel have cumulative effects on the teeth. As we age, our smile begins to look a little discolored.

Old dentures can become yellow or gray, which will make your smile appear older. In fact, dentures will naturally pick up stains and wear down faster than our natural teeth. If you have had the same dentures for more than six years, they require a dental makeover. New dentures should be made every six to ten years and relined every three to five years.

How Can a Dental Makeover Make My Smile Look Younger?

The fastest and easiest way an esthetically minded person can get a dental makeover is through bleaching or whitening. It can be achieved either through an at-home or in-office process. Now, there are over-the-counter products that will whiten your teeth; however, for safe and predictable changes with dramatic results, there is no substitute for the dental office.

Are There Any Other Ways to Make My Smile Look Younger?

Bleaching is usually the first step to achieving a more youthful appearance to your smile. Not only can you brighten your smile through bleaching, but the physical appearance of your teeth can also be improved. Applying composite bonding, porcelain veneers or crowns to your teeth is the ultimate in dental makeover and cosmetic dental enhancements.

When these options were presented to one patient, she couldn't envision the immediate change the procedures would have on her smile. In front of a mirror, I showed her the gradual changes that had occurred over time due to the wearing and staining of their tooth enamel. The patient decided to have her teeth whitened and her front teeth artistically rejuvenated with porcelain veneers. When the patient went to work after the procedure was complete, her coworkers noticed a difference, but couldn't exactly identify the change in her overall appearance. They thought that she did something different to her hair or was losing weight. No one guessed that subtle improvements had been made to her teeth.

It's never too late to care more about your smile and make immediate improvements with a dental makeover. A small change today can enhance your smile for years to come.

An Ounce of Prevention Is Still the Rule!

Once your dental crown is in place, make sure the area is brushed well and that you floss below the gum line. While the dental crown protects your remaining tooth from further decay, you must protect the base of the dental crown from bacterial growth and gum disease. Regular brushing and flossing as you would your natural teeth will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!

Your Gold Crown is not just royal jewelry for your mouth

Implants vs. Dentures

There are two popular solutions to replace missing teeth. Either you can opt for a dental implant or you can choose to have a denture made for you. Dentures are complete sets of artificial teeth. They are commonly made of acrylic, cast metal and flexible plastics for their base and plastic or porcelain for the tooth part. Today however there are several other composite materials available, but plastic and porcelain are the most common.

Dental implants are made by dentist out of an artificial tooth with a titanium (metal) root that is fixed into your jawbone. The procedure for getting a dental implant requires local anesthesia. The dentist drills into the jaw bone and creates a socket for the titanium root; the tooth is then fixed into its socket. The whole process may take a few months to complete satisfactorily.

Dentures on the other hand take a few weeks to make. Impressions of the tooth and jaw structure are taken and molds are created and tested. Once the fittings are comfortable, the final cast is made.

Dental implants are very stable and comfortable as they have a firm root in the jaw bone, just like natural teeth. There are no problems while chewing or speaking and they are cleaned during regular brushing. No special care is required and the implant can be treated as a normal natural tooth.

Dentures on the other hand tend to move a bit from their position when speaking and chewing. New users make a lot of clicking sounds as well, which gets very irritating for some. The upper portion of the denture is more firm as the palate portion provides additional suction support. The lower portion may slip a bit while chewing. Getting used to a denture may take time.

Dental implants are used to replace one or more missing or damaged teeth. The implants are however not recommended for diabetics and smokers as complications may arise.

Dentures are used when you have lost several teeth due to an accident, disease, decay or age. The denture replaces your whole set of teeth.

Although dental implants can be used to replace several teeth as well, but the procedure costs a lot more and can only be done if you have a strong jaw bone to support the implants.

Dental implants last a lifetime and need literally no special maintenance. Once the fitting procedure is tweaked to optimum, you won’t need any additional stuff.

Dentures require scheduled visits to the dentist. The human jawbone and gum structure changes with age and the denture will need re-aligning, re-basing and sometimes a complete re-design. The denture is worn and so requires the user to clean and maintain it. Proper oral hygiene is necessary to prevent bacteria from colonizing.

Though dental implants are the better option of the two, they do have their disadvantages. First of all they are very expensive and secondly it takes a lot of time for Osseo-integration to occur. The whole process may take up to 6 months.

On the other hand, dentures are much quicker as a procedure and also cheaper, but they require frequent adjustments, maintenance and can be irritating at times.

What is a Root Canal?

The tooth is essentially composed of three layers. There is the top enamel crown, underneath it there is the dentine and beneath the dentine lies the sensitive tooth pulp. The first to layers are very strong bone like composites. The tooth pulp is a fleshy area that contains the blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth.

The root canal itself is the space within the tooth that contains the pulp and its anatomical branches to the rest of the tooth. This portion of the tooth is very sensitive and exposure to surroundings can cause intense pain.

In some cases of tooth decay, the cavities can reach the root canal and expose it. This may result in bacterial infections of the root canal. Infections can occur due to other reasons as well in the area. In such a situation, a dentist will recommend a ‘root canal’. It is a treatment known officially as Endodontic therapy but more commonly referred to as root canal.

During the root canal the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp are removed and the tooth is cleaned and sealed from the inside. If this treatment is not performed, the surrounding tissue of the tooth may become seriously infected and form an abscess.

The nerve of a tooth is not a very important component for a tooth’s health and function. After a tooth has fully matured and emerged from the gums, the nerve does not have a very important role. The nerve only provides a sensory function to detect hot or cold and the tooth is completely fine if it is removed. Common symptoms that may occur are:

• Severe toothache during chewing

• High sensitivity to hot or cold. The feeling may take time to subside even if the substance is removed

• Darkening of tooth (discoloration)

• Swelling of gums near the affected tooth

• Gums become tender and bleed easily while brushing

• Persistent or recurring pimple on gums

What’s the procedure?
The root canal treatment can be completed in a few visits to your dentist. In more serious cases of root canal, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist (a dentist that specializes in severe infections and treatment of the tooth pulp).

Whoever decides to do the therapy, they will first take an x-ray to see the shape of the root canal and infections in the surrounding bone. Once the dentist is clear of the structure of the problem, he will give you a local anaesthesia, place surgical enhancements around the tooth and drill an access hole into the tooth.

The infected pulp is removed from the inside using root canal files. The tooth is cleaned thoroughly using these files and a solution. The dentist may then place some medication, seal the tooth and isolate it using temporary filling.

On the next appointment the dentist will observe if the infection was thoroughly cleaned. If he is satisfied, a proper permanent filling will be done in the tooth. 
The tooth may need additional dental procedures to restore it to full function. This may include placing a crown and other related work. Your dentist will discuss with you if additional work is needed.

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