Friday, July 20, 2012

What Are Veneers?

Here is what you can expect during a typical veneer preparation procedure.

The First of Many Impressions
Similar to most restorative dental procedures, impressions are taken before, during, and in some cases after the final placement of the veneers. The impressions taken before your veneer appointment are used to make a stone replica of your teeth. The stone cast may be sent to the dental laboratory to assist the lab tech when fabricating the final veneers, or to create a wax-up; replica of what the final veneers will look like. The wax-up may be used to create a temporary set of veneers that is worn during the time when the veneers are being made.

Choosing a Shade
Choosing the shade of the veneers is an exciting step for most people. The final shade is determined by your request for a certain result, along with the dentists recommendations. Customized to your skin tone and overall desire for whiter teeth, your dentist will recommend a shade that he feels will best appear as natural as possible, while still giving you the look of attractive, flawless teeth. It may be necessary for you to visit the dental laboratory that is making your veneers, as they are able to do a very customized shade analysis. Not only are they looking for the best shade for your individual skin tone, they may be trying to match the veneer to the shade of the surrounding teeth. This task is especially important to ensure the natural look of the veneer remains consistent.

Preparing the Teeth
Veneers require very little removal of the enamel surface of the tooth. It will generally depend on the type of veneer used, position of the teeth, or the dentists preferred method of preparing the tooth.

You may or may not require local anesthetic for the appointment. Teeth that have been root canalled or teeth that require very little preparation, may allow you to avoid the need for anesthetic. Your dentist will use the high speed hand piece to contour the front surface of the tooth. Impressions of the prepared teeth are taken inside your mouth using a very precise impression material that starts our as a thick paste. The impression material is filled into a tray and placed on the teeth. The dental assistant will likely hold the impression tray in your mouth until the material sets, usually after 3 to 5 minutes. An impression of how your teeth bite together is also taken. Impression material is applied to the biting surface of the bottom and top teeth. You will be asked to bite down into the material for 1 to 2 minutes until the material is set; depending on the brand used. If the dentist is satisfied with all of the impressions, they are delivered to the dental laboratory.

Temporary Veneers
The dentist or dental assistant will construct a set of temporary veneers made from an acrylic material, that will be cemented onto your teeth with a temporary cement. They will resemble your natural tooth, but may not appear as white as the final set of veneers and may feel rougher than your naturally smooth enamel. These temporary coverings will help protect the teeth from sensitivity, but keep in mind they are just as their name indicates; temporary. You should avoid the following with your temporary veneers:
- Biting into or chewing hard and food
- Gum and sticky candy should be avoided
- Using the prepared teeth to open or tear non-food items
- Biting your nails
- Food or beverage that contains deep pigments that will stain the acrylic.

Your New Smile
The veneers will return after 7 to 10 business days for final cementation. They will be placed on your teeth without any cement so the dentist can inspect them for any obvious flaws. Your final approval will give the go ahead for the dentist to permanently cemented the veneer to the tooth's surface with a dental resin.

If you had local anesthetic for the first appointment, it may be necessary for this appointment as the teeth need to be cleaned with water and prepared with a solution called acid etch, that microscopically roughens the surface of the tooth . This is necessary to achieve the best adhesion of cement to your teeth. As mentioned your teeth will be prone to sensitivity and since the correct placement of the veneers is paramount, freezing may be a benefit to both you and the dentist.

The cement is placed on the back of the veneer and then placed onto your tooth. A bright light known as a curing light, may be used to harden the cement. Any excess hardened cement is removed from the teeth.

The dentist will check how your teeth bite together to ensure you re not biting incorrectly onto the veneers. Small reductions of the opposing teeth may be necessary if the bite is not correct.

Caring for Your Veneers
Although veneers are designed to allow you to function normally, you may want to consider trying not to bite into hard food with your front teeth, or use your teeth to open difficult items, because they may chip or break. Occasional you may have foods and beverages like red wine, tomato sauce, grape juice, and tea or coffee. But keep in mind that the porcelain material can pick up stain from deeper pigmented foods and beverages. And unlike our natural teeth, they cannot be whitened with tooth whitening gels.

Your dentist may recommend the use of a night guard, or splint while sleeping. This will protect your lower teeth from the effects of the porcelain grinding on the enamel. Even if you do not knowingly grind your teeth, porcelain is damaging to enamel during even slight grinding of the teeth. Veneers are designed to last between 10 to 15 years. Regular cleanings from your dental hygienist are still recommended, along with regular dental checkups.

Above article from:

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oral Cancer Facts

According to The Oral Cancer Foundation, someone dies from oral cancer every hour of every day in the United States alone. Over 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed every year, worldwide. This serious dental disease which pertains to the mouth, lips or throat is often highly curable if diagnosed and treated in the early stages.

Oral Cancer Risk Factors:
Tobacco use is the number one risk factor in oral cancer. Studies have shown that at least 75% of those diagnosed were either current or former tobacco users. Heavy use of alcohol among tobacco users has been proven to have a 15% greater risk of developing oral cancer than tobacco users that aren't heavy alcohol users. Age and prolonged exposure to radiation or sunlight are contributing factors as well.

Oral Cancer Signs & Symptoms:
Unfortunately, in its early stages, oral cancer can go unnoticed. Oral Cancer could look like a common ulcer, cold sore or a discoloration of tissue. Fortunately, your dentist can see or feel if a lesion looks cancerous. If you have any type of lesion in your mouth, or on your lips, that doesn’t heal within two weeks, or a difficulty in swallowing for a prolonged period of time, it is very important to see your dentist right away.
Oral Cancer Treatment:
If your dentist does find a suspicious lesion in your mouth, he / she might remove it, but will most likely send you to a specialist for a removal and biopsy, which is a painless procedure.
If oral cancer is detected early enough, it could possibly be treated with surgery alone. Radiation combined with surgery would likely be used if the cancer is in its advanced stages.

Oral Cancer Prevention:
The best preventions of oral cancer are not to use tobacco of any kind and only drink alcohol in moderation. Avoid prolonged exposure to sun or use a sunscreen on your lips. Visit your dentist every 6 months for regular check ups. When your dentist examines your mouth at your routine check up appointments, he/ she is also screening you for oral cancer. This process only takes about 90 seconds and consists of a visual examination for any presence of cancer.

Oral Cancer Summary:
Although the number of deaths each year from oral cancer is astounding, it is highly curable if diagnosed early. Prevention is a key factor in oral cancer and a 90 second dental examination could save your life.

Above article from:

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

Monday, July 16, 2012

How Often Should I Change My Toothbrush?

Adults and children should change their toothbrush every 3 months because they become worn out and are not as effective as they once were. Exceptions to this would be if you were using an electric toothbrush, and the manufacturer states otherwise. Some electric rechargeable toothbrushes have very good brush heads that only need to be changed every 6 months. If you have gum disease, you should change your toothbrush every 4 - 6 weeks because bacteria can harbor in the bristles. You should always rinse your toothbrush out with hot water after every use and change it after you have been sick.

Above article from:

418 West King Street
East Berlin, PA 17316

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