Is your mouth as healthy as it could possibly be? If you’re like most Americans, probably not. We all have certain issues that prevent our smiles from looking as bright and radiant as we would like.
That’s why it’s important to recognize these six signs that you may need a smile makeover. Talk to your dentist and explore your smile makeover options so that you can reclaim a beautiful, attractive smile.
Dull, Discolored Teeth
It’s easy- too easy!- to expose your teeth to substances that take away their white luster. Everything from your food and medication to your brushing habits may be responsible for the condition of your teeth.
Though you can walk into any drug store and purchase a whitening kit, it is a much better idea to see your dentist for a professional whitening system. Only your dentist can offer the tools and techniques that will give you a truly bright smile.
Your dentist will assess the condition of your teeth and recommend the best treatment for your smile. Any procedure he recommends will use professional-grade whitening products that quickly breakdown stains into smaller, less concentrated pieces. This restores the white color to your teeth and helps you smile with confidence. Laser teeth whitening is now also possible as an innovative way to enhance the effects of the bleaching gel for quick and dramatic results.
It’s not only embarrassing to have missing teeth, but it’s also dangerous to your overall oral health. Even just one or two missing teeth compromise the strength of your jawbone and the alignment of your remaining teeth. Not to mention the increased threat of gum disease and decay!
Luckily, it’s easier than ever before to replace your missing teeth using dentures or implants for a smile makeover. A dental implant is used to permanently replace a missing tooth, while dentures are lab-made dental devices that replace missing teeth using an acrylic base that mimics gum tissue to support custom-made teeth.
Each tooth replacement option offers its own unique benefits. Implants, for example, can last a lifetime, look like real teeth, and protect your facial bones. Dentures, meanwhile, are easy to remove and replace and don’t require surgery for placement.
Cracked and Damaged Teeth
Crowns, bridges, and tooth-colored fillings offer different solutions to repair chipped and broken teeth. Dental damage isn’t just unsightly, it’s also painful and makes the simple tasks of talking, chewing, and speaking much more challenging.
Crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over your damaged tooth to improve its strength and structure. Standard crowns are created in a lab using an impression of your existing tooth, then cemented into place over your damaged tooth. CEREC technology accelerates this process by completing the entire crown procedure in just one hour.
Bridges are a bit different. They fill the gap created by a missing tooth by anchoring onto surrounding teeth.
Tooth-colored filling fills the areas of your teeth where decay created holes and deep damage. Since the fillings match the color of your teeth, they appear natural and attractive.
Untreated Tooth Decay
If you’re experiencing tooth decay that’s painful and difficult to control, it may be time for a root canal.
Most people assume a root canal is painful since it must dig into the deepest areas of the damaged tooth. But in reality, a root canal is one of the most effective ways to relieve chronic tooth pain and eliminate decay! Since a root canal generally costs less than a tooth extraction or replacement, it’s one of the first strategies dentists use to save a traumatized or decaying tooth.
When you undergo a root canal, your dentist performs three steps to save your tooth from additional damage.
1. Clean the Root Canal Space
After your dentist takes x-rays of your tooth and administered a local anesthetic to numb the pain, he isolates the tooth in need of a root canal. This keeps it clean and protects it from saliva. You won’t feel anything as your dentist makes a small opening in the crown of your tooth to clean and remove the dead or diseased pulp tissue inside.
Growing teeth rely on the pulp tissue, but fully developed teeth can survive without any pulp; they’re nourished by other surrounding tissues instead.
2. Fill the Root Canal With Gutta Percha
Once all signs of infected pulp are gone, your dentist replaces the pulp tissue with a biocompatible material like gutta-percha. This rubber-like material safely fills the empty space in the root canal area.
3. Strengthen the Tooth With a Crown or Filling
Adhesive cement firmly seals the root canal closed after the gutta-percha is situated. At this point, your tooth is actually dead. The infection has been removed, any painful nerve tissue has been eliminated, and your tooth can no longer sense pain.
Since a dead tooth doesn’t have pulp to provide nourishment and moisture, it relies on surrounding tissues and ligaments instead. This system isn’t as effective as the original pulp itself, which is why any tooth that undergoes a root canal becomes more brittle over time. Your dentist may use a filling or crown to bolster the strength of the tooth and prevent future damage.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, about 40 million people in the U.S experience tooth sensitivity on a daily basis. That painful “zinging” sensation is hard to ignore, especially when it happens so frequently.
Sensitive teeth develop when protective enamel is worn down to reveal the layers underneath: dentin and cementum. The dentin layer of each tooth contains microscopic tubes and canals filled with nerve endings. When dentin becomes exposed, hot and cold foods can easily aggravate nerves and cells inside the dentin.
Fortunately, tooth sensitivity can be treated using a few different measures:
- Desensitizing toothpaste is an easy solution for minor tooth sensitivity issues. This type of toothpaste contains active agents like potassium, fluoride, and strontium salts to clog the tubules to decrease the activity of dental sensory nerves.
- If desensitizing toothpaste isn’t strong enough to address your sensitive teeth, your dentist may recommend professional fluoride treatments. This involves applying a potent fluoride gel to your teeth to protect against future decay and restore damaged enamel with essential minerals.
- If your tooth sensitivity is caused by a cracked or decaying tooth, a filling or crown may be the best treatment. Sensitivity often occurs when damage to a tooth causes the nerves to become exposed. A white filling or crown can easily recover the roots and restore your damaged tooth back to health.
The hallmark of an attractive smile is a top and bottom row of straight, perfectly aligned teeth. If you count yourself among the many adults with teeth that are far from straight, clear aligners are the solution.
Invisalign is one of the most trusted teeth straightening systems used by dentists. It uses a series of flexible plastic aligners to shift your teeth into their proper positions. The FDA-approved aligners are thin and clear, so they fit snuggly and subtly over your teeth.
When using Invisalign to straighten your misaligned teeth, expect to switch to the next aligner in your treatment plan every 1 to 2 weeks. As long as you wear each set for 20 to 22 hours per day, you’ll experience a quick and impressive smile transformation.
The 2.5 million patients who have used Invisalign to improve their smiles give it a 96% satisfaction rating, so you know this is a cosmetic dentistry tool that delivers on its promises.
Invisalign uses advanced technology proven to fix nearly all common teeth-straightening bit issues, whether simple or complex.
Get Your Smile Makeover in Long Beach, CA Today
Look no further than Dr. Greg Campbell’s office in Long Beach, CA for all of your smile makeover needs. Dr. Campbell and his team are committed to providing superior oral care services customized to help each patient achieve a state of optimal dental and oral health.
Schedule your appointment today to receive the expert advice and care you need to smile with confidence once again.