Monthly Archives: July 2015

Is Cosmetic Dentistry For You? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

selfieIn todays modern times cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point where we can completely overhaul our smile, sometimes in as little as one visit. Now a days cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for celebrities and the wealthy, there’s now a wide variety of options and price ranges that put a better smile within reach for many patients.

Traditional dentistry addresses the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of your teeth. From subtle changes to major overhauls with oral surgery, there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can treat teeth that are discolored, misshapen, chipped or missing.

So is cosmetic dentistry right for you?

Below are the most common cosmetic procedures:

Teeth whitening: This procedure brightens teeth that are discolored or stained. Teeth whitening, or bleaching, can be done in a dentist’s office or at home with a system dispensed by the dentist.

Bonding: This can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces in between them, by bonding tooth-colored materials to the tooth surface.

Veneers: These are thin, custom-made porcelain shells that cover the front of the teeth to disguise discoloration or imperfections.

Tooth reshaping: This procedure changes the teeth to improve their appearance by modifying or removing enamel. Tooth reshaping (also known as dental contouring) is often combined with bonding.

Crown lengthening: This can fix a “gummy” smile or an uneven gum line by removing excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth’s crown and give the appearance of longer teeth. This involves minor oral surgery.

Smile makeovers: These procedures involve a comprehensive assessment of the overall appearance of the teeth and smile. Typically, several cosmetic dentistry procedures are required to overhaul the look of a patient’s smile. Think of it as a facelift for the mouth(Source:

Of course before having a cosmetic procedure done, your oral health must be in good shape. You need to have strong healthy teeth for a cosmetic procedure to work. Many patients think they can walk in with a existing problems (cavities, etc.) and walk out with a Hollywood smile; not understanding the chain of events that must occur prior to be a good cosmetic candidate.

To determine if you are a good candidate for cosmetic procedures, and to find out which cosmetic procedure will give you the lasting smile you desire, contact Dr. Kirtley today!

For more information on cosmetic dentistry and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park.

Sensitive Teeth Solutions | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

459953231If you’ve been experiencing jarring sharp pain when you eat or drink hot or even cold foods, or even surprisingly during your oral care routine; you know it’s not something to ignore but what is it? Chances are you’re experiencing sensitive teeth. Luckily this is very treatable.

What causes a tooth or teeth to become sensitive? Well, there are a variety of answers here. As we age, so do our teeth. With age the enamel on your teeth can wear, leaving your tooth roots exposed. This os course can cause those jolting pains with tempered food and drink or even if cold air hits the tooth. This is the most likely case or why you’re experiencing the tooth pain. But there can be other reasons, such as:

  • Over-brushing
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth whitening

Dr. Kirtley has a solution for all of the above conditions. Depending on the cause and severity of your sensitivity, you will benefit from professional treatment. There are a variety of treatments from simple solutions to oral surgery.

Sensitive teeth solutions include:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Desensitizing or bonding
  • Surgical gum graft
  • Root canal

See your dentist at the first sign of sensitivity.  Often beginning problems can be easily treated.  If you wait to get treatment, you often end up with a bigger problem that is more difficult to treat.  Many times sensitive teeth can be treated with a good cleaning and use of a special toothpaste. Dr. Kirtley will find the right solution to prevent sensitive teeth from recurring.

For more information on your sensitive teeeth and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website 

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park.

Teeth Whitening Methods | General Dentistry Indianapolis

close up smile red lipstick

It seems as though obtaining a beaming white smile is on everyone’s agenda now a days. Either with their oral care routine at home or professionally with their dentist.

Many brands of toothpaste claim to whiten teeth, and stores sell all varieties of tooth whitening products – trays, gels, strips, and rinses – over the counter. The most basic form of teeth whitening is available as toothpaste – toothpaste, whether it’s labeled as whitening or not – typically contains small abrasive components that gently polish the surface of your teeth, removing discoloration caused by surface staining.

Other over the counter whitening products typically contain a bleaching agent – such as hydrogen peroxide – to lighten the color of your teeth by chemically bleaching them.  By applying the bleaching chemical to strips or trays, the peroxide can stay in contact with your teeth for 30 minutes at a time, often twice a day, providing quite a bit of whitening benefit.

Your dentist, however, can typically offer two different whitening options. The first is take-home tray based, using chemicals stronger than over-the-counter trays, but working on the same basic principle. Often times dentist provided trays are custom-molded to the patients teeth, providing a smooth, comfortable fit suitable for wearing for multiple hours each day – often even overnight.  Beyond the trays, dentists can often perform whitening in the office, using light and heat activated bleaching chemicals, providing a significant whitening in as little as 60 minutes. Because the procedure is supervised by a dentist, much stronger chemicals can be used, and much more dramatic results can be seen almost immediately.

No matter which method of teeth whitening you choose, the results will likely not be permanent. Your teeth are exposed to foods and drinks that will stain them over time, but your dentist can advise you on the proper procedure for repeating the whitening process at regular intervals.

Contact Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment today to get the bright white smile you have always wanted at 317-841-1111 or