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Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.


We look forward to seeing you in our Meriden dental office

Nail Biting: A Habit Worth Breaking

Nail Biting: A Habit Worth Breaking

Most people who bite their nails wish they didn’t do it. If you’re a nail biter, you probably know that it spreads germs and leaves your nails looking unattractive. But did you know that it can harm your teeth? Let’s find out the connection between nail biting and tooth damage, and learn some ways to stop this nasty habit.

What does nail biting do to my teeth?
Just like chewing on hard items like ice, nails are hard and put stress on your teeth when you bite down on them. With time, your teeth will weaken and your teeth can chip or break. Since nail biting is a repetitive habit, constant chewing on your teeth wears them down faster than they should. Your teeth also can become more sensitive when the enamel is worn down. Additionally, biting your nails can move your teeth out of place. Your gums are at risk too from the additional stress the nail biting puts on them, eventually leading to gum disease and even tooth loss.

What if I wear braces?
Braces already add pressure on your teeth, so nail biting can stress them even more. The roots of your teeth can be weakened, which leads to problems like tooth loss.

How can I stop biting my nails?

Here are some tips to help you stop the nail biting habit:

  • Get a hobby that uses your hands, like video games, knitting, or painting.
  • Occupy your mouth by chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or eating carrot sticks.
  • Add foods to your diet containing calcium and magnesium because they help repair and grow your nails.
  • Cover your nails with tape, petroleum jelly, fake nails (for girls), or foul-tasting liquid.
  • Get manicures to make your nails look nice, so you will be less inclined to bite them.

If you live in the Meriden area contact us today

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

Choosing the Best Cosmetic Dentist for Your Smile Makeover

Straight, white smiles are in high demand, and choosing who is going to perform your smile makeover is not a decision to be taken lightly. The American Dental Association does not include cosmetic dentistry as one of the eight specialties, meaning there are no legal restrictions against any dentist calling themselves a “cosmetic dentist.” Therefore, it is vital to the success of your treatment to do research and find the best cosmetic dentist to perform your smile makeover. When searching for a qualified cosmetic dentist, consider the following:

  • Ask your potential dentist about their cosmetic studies. Beyond dental school, a trained cosmetic dentist should have taken postgraduate courses and training in the particular types of procedures you are seeking.
  • Find out what organizations they belong to that focus solely on cosmetic dentistry. The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry is the most notable, and offers an accreditation program that includes extensive continuing education and rigorous testing to ensure outstanding skills. Dentists who complete this accreditation are considered to be the very best in their field.
  • Ask to see “before and after” photos of patients they have treated for smile makeovers. It is important you like the style and quality of the work shown in the photos before moving forward with your chosen cosmetic dentist.
  • Inquire about testimonials and reviews from patients who have been treated for cosmetic problems similar to yours. An internet search can also yield information and reviews from previous patients about the cosmetic dentist you are considering.
  • Find out how long the cosmetic dentist has been practicing and which cosmetic dental procedures they most commonly perform.
  • Ask about the technology in their office. Current dental technology is one way to determine the level of advanced care in a cosmetic dentistry practice.
  • Is the dentist and office staff friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable?

Be sure you feel comfortable and confident with your choice of a cosmetic dentist before proceeding with a smile makeover. Making the best choice can mean enjoying years of a beautiful, bright smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

Our dental office is located in Meriden

Don’t Be Afraid of a Smile Makeover

Don’t Be Afraid of a Smile Makeover

Does your smile need some work? Are you sensitive about your teeth and how you may look while you eat or drink? Does speaking in public leave you anxious because you’re worried about the appearance of your teeth? Have you been putting off talking to a cosmetic dentist because you’re worried about the dental therapies you might need? Don’t be afraid of a smile makeover! A smile makeover can be a simple thing, as minor and fast as teeth whitening, a process that can often be completed in-office in a single visit.

If you are looking for solutions to your smile problems, begin by finding a skilled cosmetic dentist. You want to be sure to see photographs of some of the actual work done by a particular cosmetic dentist. Don’t assume that what you see online are actual patient photographs – they may be someone’s patients, but if they weren’t this dentist’s patients, you’re not getting any closer to identifying the right cosmetic dentist for you.

Ask around for private recommendations from friends and family; it might surprise you how many people you know have had work done to their smiles. You might assume that your coworker’s smile is all natural, only to learn it’s the result of a skilled cosmetic dentist and veneer work done so carefully and well that they look just like natural teeth.

Dental veneers can transform your smile in only a few visits. Good veneers will be made of materials that mimic the color and translucency of natural teeth. They won’t look puffy, too long or artificial and will complement your hair and skin color. Orthodontia can change the alignment of your teeth, with choices such as Invisalign to help you feel more confident as you change your smile.

A smile makeover can benefit you in so many ways by simply boosting your self-confidence. After you complete your treatment, you will be surprised at how much better you feel about yourself and about life in general. You will face the day with confidence, knowing you can live your life without worry about your smile.

Dr. Hergott is a cosmetic dentist in Meriden offering smile makeovers.

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Missing teeth can put a damper on your active lifestyle. You may feel self-conscious about your appearance, experience limitations in diet, or have difficulty speaking. Without a full set of teeth, you risk gum degeneration, bone loss, and other oral health problems. Designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, dental implants can rejuvenate your smile.

What is a dental implant?
A small titanium post that serves as an artificial tooth root, a dental implant is surgically positioned into your gums. Your dentist will place a permanent crown on each implant, which completes the replacement tooth. Implants can be used for one or more missing teeth.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?
In general, anyone with a missing tooth should consider dental implants. The key to successful implant placement is good oral health and sufficient bone structure to support the posts. If you don’t have adequate bone levels, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to correct that situation.

How long does the procedure take?
Receiving dental implants is a two-step process. During the first visit, a trained specialist will surgically implant the posts into your jawbone. Then, you will need to wait three to six months for healing and integration with the jawbone. Once this occurs, your dentist will place the permanent crowns on the implants, giving you a full smile.

How do I care for my implants?
Just like your natural teeth, your implants require daily care. Brush often and floss frequently. Regular dental checkups are also important, so schedule visits at least twice a year.

Our dental office is located in Meriden