Archive for July, 2012

Most Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

Most people will notice that over time, their smile can become dull and discolored. Having discolored teeth can sap our self-confidence, but with today’s cosmetic dentistry treatments, we can easily have our smiles restored to their best.

There are a number of reasons why teeth might become discolored, and tooth discoloration can fall into either of two distinct categories. These categories are ‘extrinsic’, which classifies stains that are visible on the outer surface of the teeth; and ‘intrinsic’, which classifies stains that affect the dentin of the tooth.

Causes of extrinsic tooth discoloration include

  • dark colored drinks, such as black tea or coffee;
  • cola based soft drinks;
  • dark berries, such as blackberries;
  • tobacco products.

Intrinsic tooth discoloration can be caused by

  • age – tooth discoloration is a natural effect of the aging process;
  • tooth trauma or damage
  • excessive exposure to fluoride

Cosmetic dentistry can help tackle the effects of tooth discoloration, and a dentist can perform teeth whitening treatment in order to restore a tooth back to its natural brilliance, or alternatively may consider veneers if the discoloration is severe.

For extrinsic discoloration, the dentist is likely to perform teeth whitening, perhaps through tray-based at-home teeth whitening, or through Zoom! teeth whitening. For at-home treatment, the dentist will supply the patient with all they need to treat the discoloration at home.

However, for better results, Zoom! teeth whitening can be performed in a single day; the dentist applies a light-activated gel to the patient’s teeth that is then treated with a special laser which activates the whitening properties of the gel.

Severe intrinsic discoloration is more likely to be treated through veneers, which are porcelain tooth coverings, and bonded onto the teeth. Veneers may also be used in instances where discolored teeth show signs of damage, or are heavily filled and tooth whitening treatments may not yield satisfactory results.

A dentist will advise on the type of discoloration a patient has, and the most effective method of restoring the teeth’s natural whiteness.

For a whiter and brighter smile, contact the office of Dr. Paul Lounsberry, serving Round Rock and the surrounding areas.

Posted in: cosmetic dentistry

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Structure of a Dental Implant

dental implants Round RockThere are several methods of tooth reconstruction available to treat badly damaged or missing teeth. In the case of damage to teeth, dental crowns, whereby the damaged tooth is fitted with a porcelain ‘jacket’ is a common solution.

When teeth are missing, choices for treatment include dentures, fixed bridges and dental implants; and it is the latter treatment that has grown in popularity, due to the numerous benefits they bestow over other methods.

When it comes to dental implants, an implant dentist employs the services of one or more small titanium rods which he places into the patient’s gum tissue. The exact number of rods to be used by the dentist differs, depending on the number of teeth to be replaced and their location in the mouth.

The titanium rod used by the dentist will, over time, bond itself to the patient’s jawbone. This will help give the implant strength and support, while also serving to stimulate the jawbone and preserve bone mass, which can degrade in instances of tooth loss and can affect the stability of other teeth nearby.

Once the titanium rod has been put in place, the dentist will place a temporary dental crown over the top of the rod. This crown helps to protect the implant from damage while the healing process occurs, and the rod fuses onto the jawbone.

After a short time, the dentist will then replace the temporary crown with a permanent porcelain dental crown, thus completing the treatment and restoring the patient’s smile back to its former glory.

Among the many benefits of dental implants are the strength and support they provide to surrounding teeth, protecting them from tooth shift. They also help to preserve much of the patient’s bite strength and are very hard-wearing, making them an ideal permanent solution to tooth reconstruction.

And perhaps the best benefit of all when it comes to dental implants is the fact that they do not require extra care to keep clean; simply adhering to a good dental hygiene regime involving regular brushing and flossing, and twice-yearly visits to a dentist are all it takes to ensure dental implants last a lifetime.

For more information on dental implants in Round Rock, contact Balcones Family Dental at 512-200-7422 and schedule your professional consultation.

Posted in: dental implants

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