Posts for: August, 2015

By Today's Dental
August 30, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Porcelain veneers are excellent for restoring otherwise sound teeth that are stained, chipped or slightly misaligned. But the question for many is, are they long-lasting?

Just as the term is used in building construction, a dental veneer is a thin covering of material that’s bonded to the outside of a tooth to conceal blemishes. Very thin layers of dental porcelain (a form of hardened glass colored to match a patient’s natural teeth) are created by a dental lab technician to achieve the preferred shape and size of the patient’s tooth. Unlike crowns or other restorations, veneers require very little tooth preparation to accommodate them.

As to their longevity: if cared for properly, a veneer could last for twenty years or more. While the veneer itself isn’t subject to the effects of dental disease, the tooth and the gums that support it are. Shrinking gum tissues as a result of periodontal (gum) disease, for example, could have a negative effect on the veneered tooth and subsequently the veneer. It’s important, then, that you properly practice daily brushing and flossing, along with keeping up regular office cleanings and checkups.

There’s one other important consideration: while porcelain veneers can withstand normal biting forces, if they’re subjected beyond their tolerance they could shatter. You should be careful not to subject your veneered teeth to an abnormal biting force, such as biting down on an extremely hard object. If you tend to grind your teeth at night, wearing a night guard can minimize the force created from the grinding.

It’s possible to repair and re-bond a loose or slightly chipped veneer. In some cases, though, severe damage may require a replacement. Still, by using common sense about what you bite down on and taking proper care of your teeth and gums, you can minimize the chances of damage and enjoy many years of a more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: How Long will Your Porcelain Veneers Last?.”

By Today's Dental
August 15, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Today's Dental
August 12, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Six Month Smiles  

Ask your Houston, TX dentist how you can straighten your smile invisibly in half a year.

Do you cover your mouth because you are embarrassed or self-conscious about your crooked smile? Do you want to correct the issue, Six Month Smilesbut worry that it could take years of orthodontic treatment? Think again! Find out how your Houston, TX dentist Dr. Tiberiu Oancea could get you the smile you want in only six months.

About Six Month Smiles

A straighter smile in only six months? What’s the catch? There isn't one! Six Month Smiles uses advanced dental technology to help move teeth quickly and efficiently using clear braces. While you may think that braces that move teeth quickly actually use a high amount of force to do so, you’ll be surprised to hear that Six Month Smiles moves teeth gently and naturally using a low level of force. This treatment still employs the same mechanics as traditional braces, but it focuses more on cosmetic changes rather than the position of your bite.

Getting Six Month Smiles

Six Month Smiles use the same bracket-and-wire approach that traditional braces do, but instead of wearing obvious metal on your teeth you’ll wear clear braces instead. This makes it easier for students and working professionals to get the smile they want without everyone noticing. Unlike invisible aligners, you will wear your braces all the time for the full six months. Quick follow-up visits with your Houston dentist will be required every few weeks to make sure your treatment is going according to schedule.

Many patients over 16 years of age can benefit from wearing Six Month Smiles, but keep in mind that this treatment isn’t right for everyone. The ideal candidate will be someone who is dealing with minor crookedness or spaces between teeth. If you are looking to make major adjustments to your smile, including correcting a bad bite, then Six Month Smiles won’t give you the results you are looking for. The best way to find out if this orthodontic treatment is best for you is to consult your Houston dentist.

Ready to find out how you could get a more attractive and healthy smile in only six months? Then it’s time to schedule a consultation with your Houston dentist. Call Today’s Dental and let’s get you closer to that perfect smile.