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Taking Care of Your Dental Implants | Indianapolis Indiana

If you have just received dental implants, half of the battle is over. Getting them in is one thing, however, maintaining them is more important. Now is the time in which you should practice better oral hygiene than you did before. Good oral hygiene before, during, and after placement of dental implants will ensure the health and longevity of the implants.

Proper care of your implants is important to their continued function and good health. While they are not subject to cavities as our natural teeth are, they can develop gum inflammation, and even infection and bone loss if not properly maintained. Whereas localized inflammation and infection around your teeth is known as periodontal disease, a similar process can occur around implants and is known as peri-implantitis.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure the surrounding gums and bone are maintained and healthy. This also requires periodic x-rays to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. The dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

Implant dentistry can restore your smile and oral health. To see if dental implants are right for you, contact Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit the website www.dentalimplantsindianapolis.com

What is a General Dentist | Indianapolis, IN

A general dentist is the primary dental care provider for patients of all ages. They are responsible for all of the basic dental needs of their patients as well as assisting them in finding the appropriate help for deeper dental issues.

General dentists make up the majority of the 143,000 dentists practicing in the Unites States and Canada. Oftentimes, they become partners or associates with other dentists in a group practice. Some dentists work in government health services, research programs, higher education, corporations and even the military.

The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist regularly which is about once every six months. This will ensure proper oral hygiene and functionality. Regular checkups and oral health maintenance prevent the development of serious dental problems that may require costly treatment.

Dr. Kirtley is the only dentist worldwide who has the distinction of being accredited by both the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Visit him today for a dental check-up!

To make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.

 

 

 

Smile Makeover for a Dream Smile | Cosmetic Dentist Indianapolis

The term smile makeover usually refers to the combination of certain dental procedures to give someone a flawless smile. Dr. Kirtley takes a unique approach to each patients smile goals and needs, recommending options that are in their best interest.   Whether your teeth are broken, chipped, missing, discolored, or otherwise damaged, Dr. Kirtley can restore your smile.

Smile makeovers can address a broad range of aesthetic flaws. These issues include:

  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Eroded, misshapen, or disproportionately sized teeth
  • “Gummy” smiles
  • An uneven gum line
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

Smile makeover are designed to enhance or even transform your self-image by giving you a brighter and more youthful smile, making your teeth look and function better through cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. Keep in mind the primary focus of a smile makeover is to improve the appearance of your smile rather than the health of your mouth. Therefore, if you have underlying oral health issues, they will need to be addressed before your makeover can begin. Dr. Kirtley can of course help you reach all your dental goals.

To make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com

How Your Smile Can Have an Impact On Your Life

Did you know that your smile has such a great impact on your life? Yes. It is true. Many studies have proven that having straight and beautiful teeth, in addition to smiling a lot, play a large role in how society perceives a person. Not only that, a beautiful smile is also often associated with success and good health.

In the list below, you’ll find out exactly how your smile can have an impact on your life.

1 in 3 People Notice Your Teeth First

Most people may think that it’s the eyes that most people notice. While that’s partly true, shoes and teeth are also very important when it comes to making a first impression.

In fact, one study has shown that 1 in 3 people notice your teeth first before your eyes, nose, and any other part of your face and body.

Half The People You Meet Will Remember Your Smile

Your smile doesn’t just make a good first impression, it also makes a lasting one. It’s the one image of you that people will keep on coming back to when they try to remember you.

In one research, as much as 48 percent of the respondents said that a smile is the one thing they remember most about the people they meet.

So, whether you’re out on your first date, or have a big interview coming up soon, your teeth can have a huge effect on how well they go.

You Have A Better Chance of Landing a Job If You Smile

It’s no secret that we live in a world that places much emphasis on beauty. And, while it may seem unfair, research has proven that employers are more likely to hire applicants with straight teeth and beautiful smiles than those who do not.  Other studies have also shown that even if you do not have great teeth, just smiling frequently increases your chances of landing a job.

Beautiful Smile = Better Chances Of Finding a Partner

Again, we live in a superficial world, so it should not come off as a surprise that people prefer to be with people who have straight and white teeth. Although, it’s worth noting that physical appearance may not be the only factor here.

Much like with interviews, people see teeth not just as a measure of beauty, but also as a measure of discipline and hygiene. After all, cavities, yellowish and other unsightly stains on teeth, are often the result of the lack of a proper oral hygiene routine at home.

You’ll Generally Be Happier With a Better-Looking Smile

Is this really that much of a surprise?

With their higher chances of landing a date – and subsequently, finding a long-term partner – and getting a job, people with clean and straight pearly whites have a lot of reason to be happier than most.

Do not let your smile hold you back from being who you’re meant to be!

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

 

The Five Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is what’s often used to refer to mostly elective dental work done to improve the appearance of one’s smile. However, even though cosmetic dental procedures primarily focus on aesthetics, the treatment can also provide certain functional and restorative benefits.

The different types of cosmetic dental procedures can range from simple, single-visit treatments to more complex and involved treatments.

  1. Inlays and Onlays – Also referred to as indirect fillings, these are made in a dental laboratory using composite resin material and are attached to the teeth by dentists using adhesive dental cement. These are used to treat and strengthen the structural integrity of teeth, restore their natural shape and avoid any further damage from mild to moderate decay, especially when a tooth can no longer support a filling. Inlays are placed directly onto the tooth’s surface if the tooth cusps are not damaged. However, when there’s too much damage to the tooth’s cusp or the tooth itself, onlays are instead used to cover its entire surface.
  1. Composite Bonding – Composite bonding refers to the cosmetic dental technique that utilizes dental material resembling the color of tooth enamel to restore the appearance of discolored teeth. Dentists can also use the same material to repair badly damaged or decayed teeth. Also referred to as bonding, the technique is capable of covering much of the damage to the tooth and make it look as good as new. Cheap and very effective, bonding is one of the best treatment methods available for those with decayed, chipped, cracked or worn-out teeth.
  1. Dental Veneers – Made from medical-grade ceramic, dental veneers are custom made dental appliances that perfectly resembles a patient’s natural teeth. It is very hard to tell dental veneers from the real thing and it can be used to treat various aesthetic issues, including crooked and cracked teeth, damaged enamel and even tooth gaps.
  1. Teeth Whitening – Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to restore the teeth to their natural appearance, or in some cases, make them look a shade lighter than they originally do. This is often only recommended for teeth that have been rid of plaque, tartar and other debris via other non-cosmetic and conventional dental procedures.
  1. Dental Implants – Used to replace teeth after tooth loss, dental implants are inserted into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth via a small titanium screw. Then, it is given time to heal and fuse with the bone to make sure that they’re permanently secured in place. Unlike other cosmetic dental procedures, dental implants are used mainly for their functional and health benefits.

Make an appointment today to get a beautiful smile by calling 317-841-1111. Or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

5 Facts About Dental Implants | Indianapolis Dentist

dental implants

Designed to blend in with your other teeth better than other tooth replacement options, dental implants are an effective way to replace missing teeth. More than just filling space, they help fill the lives of patients that have suffered far too long from having incomplete teeth. Thanks to dental implants, patients can smile again without feeling conscious and eat their favourite food without any consequence.

Given just how awesome dental implants are, here are a couple of amazing facts about dental implants that you definitely would want to know:

  1. You can thank rabbits for dental implants – Did you know that rabbits were a tremendous help to the development of titanium implants? Back in the 1950s, Swedish surgeon Per-Ingvar Brånemark was studying the healing properties of bone when he decided to place titanium implants into the femurs of rabbits. After quite some time, he tried to remove the implants. However, he found out that the rabbit’s bone had already bonded to the titanium, making them near impossible to remove.
  1. Implants are good for your jawbone – The human body is basically made up of cells, including our bones. As the cells grow older and die, the human body produces new and younger ones to replace them. This is exactly why people can heal from wounds and broken bones. And, with the jawbone, your teeth are responsible for stimulating and encouraging the production of new cells to keep the jaw healthy. This means that if you have missing teeth, your jaws aren’t going to be as healthy as they should be. But, with dental implants, the artificial teeth can provide the same kind of stimulation that helps keep your jaws strong and healthy.
  1. Implants fuse with your bone – Once it’s placed inside your mouth, the titanium post that serves as the base of the implant fuses with your jawbone overtime. Consequently, this is what makes dental implants the longest-lasting tooth restoration treatment available to-date. And, unlike with crowns, bridges and dentures, you’re not just restoring a part of your tooth, you’re actually replacing the actual tooth root.
  1. They’re practically immune to cavities – Now, what could be better than the fact that dental implants are permanent, have a 98 percent success rate and very stable? Well, how about the fact that they can’t decay, ever? It’s true. Because the implant itself is artificial, you won’t have to worry about it getting decay anytime soon. However, the same can’t be said for the surrounding teeth and gum tissues. So, you’ll still want to brush and floss around your implant, and see your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.
  1. You can replace all your teeth with implants – Most people don’t know this, but you can actually replace all of your teeth with implants. Implant-supported dentures use implants for support, resulting in a more comfortable and stable fit compared to traditional dentures.

If you’re missing a tooth or two, don’t wait too long! Visit Dr. George Kirtley to see if you’re a good candidate for dental implants and see the benefits of these long-term tooth replacement solutions yourself. Call today at 317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com

 

 

Five Top Dental Myths People Believe Are True

pearly whites

It’s been said that your teeth can tell a lot about your overall health. As such, it’s very important to know fact from fiction when it comes to taking proper care of your mouth.

Below are five of the most common dental myths that most people believe are true, but are actually bad for your health.

  1. Sugar is the main culprit responsible for tooth decay.

Sugar is definitely not good for your teeth and your health overall. However, what really causes tooth decay are the harmful acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth and teeth, not sugar. Of course, these bacteria form whenever you digest carbohydrates, which refined sugar is. But, sugar isn’t the only culprit. Even carbohydrates from healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and grains can all contribute to the formation of plaque and acid-producing bacteria in your mouth.

Fortunately, the solution is simple – brush your teeth regularly to keep plaque and bacteria at bay.

  1. You shouldn’t brush and floss your teeth if your gums are bleeding.

On the contrary, you actually should be paying more attention to your oral care routine if your gums are actually bleeding all of a sudden. The fact is, bleeding, swollen and reddish gums are one of the earliest signs of gingivitis, which, if left untreated, can progress to periodontitis. Don’t change your routine unless otherwise advised by your dentist. And, yes, do visit your dentist as soon as you notice your gums bleeding every time you brush or floss.

  1. Bleaching products weaken teeth.

Gels, pastes, and strips are all products available in the market today that are advertised to help make teeth brighter and whiter. However, people believe that they’re harmful and should be avoided at all costs. But, the truth is, all bleaching products are harmless as long as they’re used according to the directions. And, even when you use too much bleaching products, all you get is temporary tooth sensitivity or irritated gums, not weakened teeth.

  1. Baby teeth are not as important because they will eventually fall out.

While it’s true that baby teeth will eventually fall out, that doesn’t mean they’re not as important. Case in point, when a baby tooth is lost too early, either via trauma or tooth decay, the permanent teeth may not erupt at the right place, causing teeth to become crooked or crowded. Not only that, but when a baby tooth is affected by tooth decay, the infection can spread down to the developing permanent teeth.

To put simply, it never is too early to teach your child how to take proper care of his or her teeth.

  1. You’ll know when you have tooth decay.

No, just no. This is the type of dental myth that can lead to very serious dental complications. Gum disease may have early symptoms, such as bleeding and reddish gums. But, tooth decay doesn’t. Once you begin feeling pain in your teeth, that means the decay – and subsequently, the resulting damage – is already advanced and extensive. The only way to prevent and know if you have tooth decay, as well as gum disease, is to take proper care of your teeth and visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning.

For a thorough evaluation of your oral health visit George Kirtley, DDS in Indianapolis, IN. Call today at 317-841-1111.

Why Is Mouthwash Important? | Indianpolis Dentist

periodontal disease

Using mouthwash isn’t necessary. However, it is highly recommended. Quick and easy to use, mouthwash doesn’t just help make your mouth feel and smell fresh. In fact, both prescription and over-the-counter mouthwash can significantly help improve your oral health and reduce your risk for cavities and gum disease.

Benefits of Using Mouthwash

Brushing and flossing should be more than enough to control plaque growth and prevent cavities and gum disease. At least, in theory. Unfortunately, most patients do not brush or floss their teeth thoroughly enough to properly keep dental plaque in control. And, that is where mouthwash comes in.

By using mouthwash in addition to your regular care routine of twice-daily brushing and daily flossing, you help add an additional layer of protection for your teeth against tooth decay and gingivitis, which promotes healthier teeth and gums.

Mouthwash can help fresh breath, prevent plaque build-up, remove any loose particles and food debris in your mouth and stop cavities from farming. However, the keyword here is “in addition”, which means that mouthwash shouldn’t be considered as a replacement to brushing and flossing. Instead, you should look at it as a way to keep your teeth and gums healthy in between brushing and flossing your teeth. As such, the ideal time to use mouthwash wouldn’t be straight after brushing your teeth, but instead, after lunch when you don’t really have time to brush or floss your teeth.

Choosing The Right Mouthwash

If you’ve considered adding a mouthwash or mouth rinse to your oral care routine, it’s important that you understand what options are available to you. More importantly, you should know what factors you should consider when making your choice.

Here are some factors that you should take note of:

  • Alcohol or no alcohol? Alcohol is found in plenty of mouthwashes and rinses. This can be a huge problem if deliberately swallowed, which is a very possible if you’re a recovering alcoholic, or someone in your household is. Also, if you want to buy just one type of mouthwash or rinse for the whole family, the safer choice would be to go with alcohol-free mouthwash products available in the market.
  • Sensitivity – Certain ingredients found in mouthwash can be irritating, especially if you have sensitive gums or if you’re recovering from a dental procedure. If either is the case for you, consider buying an alcohol-free or natural mouthwash. The latter often contain ingredients such as aloe vera and/or chamomile that generally make them gentler and more soothing on your teeth and gums.
  • Plaque control – While all types of mouthwash help protect your teeth against bacteria, some are specialized to be just much more effective. Consider dental rinse containing anti-plaque ingredients if you want to provide even more protection to your teeth and gums.

If you’re still not sure about using mouthwash, or if you think you wouldn’t like the taste or sensation, consider asking your dentist for a free sample on your next visit. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist for their thoughts and suggestions regarding using mouthwash in daily oral care.

 

Home Teeth Whitening Vs In-Office Teeth Whitening

 

You can bring the shine back on your smile by going to the dentist for an in-office teeth whitening treatment. Or, you can buy over-the-counter whitening products and so at home.

If you’re interested in brightening up your smile, it’s important you take note of each method’s pros and cons.

 

Home Teeth Whitening

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, over-the-counter products can help you get whiter teeth, which includes:

  • Whitening rinses are very easy to use, as all you need to do is swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds. Don’t take too long, just swish it enough to make sure that the whitening agent in the product makes contact with your teeth. Then after, spit out. Although the results are not instant, your choppers will get brighter eventually with continued use. Using rinses regularly can also help prevent new stains from forming.
  • Whitening toothpaste contains ingredients that remove surface stains with regular brushing. Make sure that you brush gently. Remember, brushing aggressively won’t make the toothpaste more effective and will only wear out tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and various oral problems. Speaking of tooth sensitivity, prolonged use of whitening toothpaste have been known to cause sensitive teeth.
  • Whitening gels are very convenient to use as you just need to put them on your teeth once a day for around two hours. And, depending on how strong the product is, you may need to wear them for as long as a month, or for just 10 days.
  • Whitening strips are also very easy to apply, but sometimes very confusing because it can be hard to tell which one of the strip is for the front teeth and which is for the bottom teeth. On average, you can expect to see results in 7 days.
  • Whitening trays fit over your teeth and filled with gel. They work extremely fast, but have been known to rub and irritate gums. It’s best to be careful and follow the directions on the package properly when using whitening trays.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

A very common in-office teeth whitening procedure don’t really occur in the office. Rather, it’s done at home, but with the supervision of the dentist. It involves using whitening trays, but instead of over-the-counter ones, custom-made trays filled with stronger bleaching solution are used. And, because the dentist supervises the procedure and the trays are custom-made, the results come faster and irritation is minimized.

Another in-office whitening procedure involves applying a powerful whitening gel on your teeth and using a specialized light or laser to activate the gel and make the process go a whole lot faster. Depending on just how badly colored your teeth are, your teeth may already be white after just one visit or you may need to go back a few more times.

You can also consult your dentist about laser teeth whitening, as well as other in-office whitening procedures.

It’s up to you whether you go to the dentist’s office or buy over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. But, what’s important is you don’t forget to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help keep your teeth white and healthy. This includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing and avoiding smoking. It will also help to avoid certain types of food and beverages that are notorious for causing stains, such as coffee, tea, white and sports drinks.

For the brightest, whitest smile, call Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment at 317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Why It’s Important To Get Your Teeth Cleaned Every Six Months

If only you knew just what exactly is happening inside your mouth every day, you probably wouldn’t need to be reminded, nor wonder, why it’s important to get your teeth cleaned every six months.

You see, brushing and flossing alone aren’t enough to keep your teeth clean and healthy, and to further convince you, here are five reasons why you need to visit the dentist every six months:

  1. It’s the best way to prevent oral cancer. Or, at the very least, make sure that it’s diagnosed as early as possible. Remember, just like with any form of cancer, your survival rate increases dramatically the sooner it is diagnosed. If you frequently drink alcohol or smoke tobacco, then it’s even more important to have your mouth checked every six months for signs of oral cancer.
  1. For the prevention and treatment of oral infection. Contrary to popular belief, normal and healthy mouths do not and never will bleed when flossing or brushing. If it does, then either there’s wrong with your mouth, or the way you brush your teeth. Chances are, it’s more of the former. This is true even if you think that it’s normal for your gums to bleed after a round of dental cleaning. Bleeding teeth and gums are one of the earliest signs of gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and other complications if not treated early. So, the next time you brush and floss your teeth, and it bleeds, take note of it and tell the dentist. Although it probably shouldn’t hurt to try and switch to another toothbrush with soft bristles, or to not brush your teeth as aggressively as before.
  1. No more bad breath. Sure, it’s normal for the mouth to not always smell minty fresh. But, for your breath to stink regularly, sometimes to the point that it affects your sense of taste, isn’t exactly what you’d call normal. That actually is a telltale sign of an oral infection, something that only your dentist can treat. Even if this hasn’t happened to you yet, this should give you even more of a reason to visit the dentist.
  1. Lowered risk for dental problems. Although dentists recommend paying them a visit every six months to lower one’s risk for dental problems, some people actually need to have their teeth cleaned much more often. And, how exactly would you know how often you need to visit the dentist if you don’t even visit them regularly in the first place?
  1. To keep your teeth white and healthy. It may sound superficial, but we tend to judge other people based on what we see first, which usually is the smile – or at least, the lack thereof. By visiting the dentist regularly, you can keep your teeth looking shiny and healthy, allowing you to smile way more often without being so conscious, giving your self-esteem a much-needed boost.

Let Dr. Kirtley help you to prevent gum disease and keep your teeth looking pretty so you never have to worry about those things ever again. Call for an appointment at 317-841-1111. Learn more about our practice by visiting our website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.