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A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

A History of Cosmetic Dentistry

The desire for a better looking and better functioning smile has been around since ancient times. As early as 3000 BC, there is evidence that people used sticks to clean their teeth. Early toothbrushes were made of animal hair in the late 15th century.

The earliest forms of cosmetic dentistry are believed to be dentures made from ivory and bone by the Etruscans around 700 BCE. Other dentures were made from animal or even human teeth taken from corpses. Near 200 CE, the Etruscans had moved on to using gold to perform the functions of a dental crown or bridge.

Ancient Egyptians made a whitening toothpaste of vinegar and ground pumice stone, while the Romans utilized the ammonia from urine in their toothpastes, a practice that existed in some form into the 1700s.

Dental implants of human teeth were used in Europe in the 1700s for replacement teeth, but the practice was rejected due to repeated failures. Over the next hundred years, metal was used – and was also subsequently rejected.

The end of the 18th century and the entre 19th century showed great strides in cosmetic dentistry, particularly in the field of prosthetic dentistry, with the success of the porcelain denture. Molds were made of existing mouths with plaster, allowing dentists to provide the greatest denture fit and comfort available to patients thus far.

In the 1840s, the first rubberized material used as a base for dentures was invented, called Vulcanite. The first dental lab created specifically to produce prosthetic dental appliances was established in the 1850s. Porcelain dental crowns gave way to porcelain fused to metal crowns in the 1950s, and Vulcanite gave way to acrylic in the early 20th century, materials we still use today.

Your cosmetic dentist in Meriden is a skilled professional whose techniques have been practiced and refined by those dentists who came before for thousands of years. Today, we are at the pinnacle of the knowledge and expertise of trained cosmetic dentists and with the variety of successful methods and materials that will work for any cosmetic need.

If you live in the Meriden area contact us today

What Really Happens When You Get a Filling

What Really Happens When You Get a Filling

You’re sitting in your dentist’s chair for your checkup, and you hear the dreaded words that you have a cavity. Is it really a cause for panic? Modern advances in equipment and methods may surprise you about what really happens when you get a filling. Let’s learn what to expect if you need this procedure.

The first thing you and your dentist will discuss is the type of filling that is best for you. One choice is an amalgam filling. It is known for its durability, but contains a small amount of mercury which raises concerns among some patients. Another option is a resin composite filling, which is a newer material that contains more plastics. Many patients like this option because its white color is less noticeable in your mouth, but it lasts only about half as long as an amalgam filling.

The first step of the process is numbing the area, unless the cavity is very small and it’s unnecessary. First, the dentist will rub a topical numbing agent on the area, and will give you an injection after it takes effect. Many patients don’t even feel the injection after the topical numbing.

Next, the dentist will separate the area being worked on from the rest of your mouth using a rubber dam or a bite block. Once your mouth is ready, your tooth will be drilled and the decay will be removed.

The actual filling will be placed after the decay is gone. If you are receiving an amalgam filling, the hole will be filled with the metals. It will be pushed down to ensure all of the space is full, and then any overflow will be removed to make the tooth smooth. If you are getting a composite filling instead, the dentist will put some blue acid in the hole to create small holes for bonding the material. The acid is then rinsed, and a bonding agent is applied. Then the composite material will be added. A blue light will be used to harden and strengthen the material. Finally, the filling will be filed to make it smooth.

Dental fillings dentist in Meriden

The Truth About Root Canal Therapy

The Truth About Root Canal Therapy

Most people would rather do anything than have a root canal. Unfortunately, this procedure receives a bad rap. A root canal is generally performed to clean out an infected tooth and prevent future problems. Usually, patients feel better after root canal therapy.

Knowing the truth about root canals may help you feel less apprehensive if your dentist recommends this procedure.

  • A root canal hurts.
    Actually, the pain you feel is caused by the swelling and pressure in your tooth. When a tooth sustains severe trauma, the pulp, or soft nerve center, may die. During a root canal, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, disinfect the tooth, and seal off the inside. Most people only experience mild soreness afterwards, if they feel any discomfort at all.
  • Root canal therapy takes many appointments.
    Although this timing depends on the severity of the case, most root canals are completed in one to two appointments. Once your dentist finishes the root canal, you will probably need at least one more visit for restoration of the tooth, usually with an inlay, onlay, or crown.
  • I only need a root canal if my tooth hurts.
    Pain often lets you know you have a problem with a tooth, but if your tooth root dies you may have no symptoms. The dentist can perform tests to determine the health of a tooth, including temperature and percussion testing.
  • The root canal won’t last.
    Once the tooth is cleaned and sealed, you should have no further problems with the tooth. Sometimes the restoration of the tooth fails, which can causes the tooth to crack or break. This usually occurs if you wait too long to have a crown or adequate filling placed.

Schedule your appointment at our Meriden dental office

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:

  • Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.

We treat patients from Meriden and the surrounding area

The Popularity of Cosmetic Dentistry

The Popularity of Cosmetic Dentistry

Although your oral health is of utmost importance, it’s not the only thing to consider about your smile. There is a specialized field of dentistry that focuses on giving you the most appealing smile possible for you. Cosmetic dentistry can turn a crooked, discolored, or otherwise unattractive smile into one that you will want to show off.

A relatively new area of dentistry, cosmetic dentists are becoming more and more popular. The goal is to transform your smile into a beautiful one that will last for a lifetime. It is usually not difficult to find a cosmetic dentist by asking friends and family, researching on the internet, or asking your general dentist for suggestions for this type of specialist.

Most cosmetic dentists use the most modern technologies in their offices to provide the most advanced treatment options. Some of the most popular procedures that you can expect a cosmetic dentist to perform include:

  • Teeth whitening – brightening the color of your teeth and minimizing stains
  • Veneers – attaching porcelain shells to the fronts of your teeth to hide imperfections
  • Implants and crowns – restoring missing teeth to improve mouth appearance and function
  • Bonding – using composite resin material to repair chips and fill gaps
  • Contouring – reshaping the tooth to create a more appealing look
  • Braces – straightening your teeth and correcting jaw misalignment

In additional to improving smiles, you can usually expect a comfortable experience at your cosmetic dentist. A number of the common procedures are not painful, but those that do cause discomfort may be aided with sedation techniques. Sedation dentistry is also an option to relax patients who experience anxiety or fear about visiting the dentist. If you are unhappy with your smile, schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to learn about ways to change your look.

 

Schedule a consultation today to learn more our Cosmetic Dentistry options at our Meriden dental office.

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants

Losing teeth for one reason or another is not as uncommon as you might think. Injuries and severe tooth decay are only a couple of the causes for smiles to have holes in them from missing teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to go through life with an incomplete smile. Dental implants provide one solution for replacing lost teeth.

Popularity
These restorations that involve a titanium root with an artificial tooth on top have become increasingly popular. Instead of using bridges or dentures that are known to have some hassles with them, implants are a permanent and secure solution. Once the area has healed, you can go back to your normal habits without any concerns related to the implant. They look very natural, preserve neighboring teeth, improve speech, restore the mouth’s function, and help maintain your facial features.

Candidates
Good candidates for implants have strong enough jaw bones to be able to support the implant. Patients with significant bone loss may not be able to successfully maintain implants. Good oral health is helpful, as is good general health since surgery is required. Smokers and those with certain health conditions may not be recommended for dental implants.

Procedure
Once you’ve been identified as a good candidate, the first step is having the titanium rod inserted into your jaw bone. It can take up to three months for it to completely fuse with your bones. Then your dentist will make an abutment to hold the implant, and a mold will be taken of your mouth so that the crown can be created. Until it is ready, a temporary crown will be placed. Finally, your crown will be placed and adjustments will be made if needed.

Maintenance
After you implant is complete, you can resume your regular lifestyle. Your normal dental hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and checkups should be maintained for the best results.

 

We offer dental implants at our Meriden dental office.