Category Archives: Cosmetic Dentistry

What You Need to Know About Gum Contouring | Indianapolis Dentist

We all desire an exceptional smile – the kind of smile that brightens a room. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t lucky enough to have such a fantastic set of dental circumstances. But when you think of that perfect smile, what do you think of? Most patients focus on bright, white, straight teeth. However, many patients realize that there’s another component as well – your gums.

Some patients may have gums that are too high, and others have gums that are too low. The causes vary – genetics plays a part, but certain prescription drugs can cause gums that cover more of your teeth than normal, and activities such as smoking can cause gum recession, causing your teeth to look longer than expected.

Gum contouring is typically considered a cosmetic procedure – most insurance plans do not consider it medically necessary and will not cover the costs. However, it is becoming more readily available in many of today’s dental and periodontal offices. For severe cases of gum recession, exposed tooth roots can cause gum contouring to be considered a medical necessity, as the receding tissue can contribute to long term problems such as tooth decay and tooth loss.

The procedure can be done with traditional surgical techniques or lasers – ask your dentist to determine which they recommend. In many cases, local anesthesia is sufficient, though general anesthesia may be considered for larger procedures. The recovery is typically straightforward – there is some bleeding and swelling expected, but generally the soreness will subside within a week.

How does the process work?  Watch this video to see gum contouring take place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZwanwhtxA

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental 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.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Keep Your Grin Bright at Home | Indianapolis Dentist

Getting teeth whitened in the dentist’s office is one way to improve your confidence and make you want to smile a lot more. However, the maintenance of this whitening treatment really comes into play once we leave the dental chair. It’s still important that you continue to look for ways to maintain your smile, or if possible, make it whiter and brighter. Listed below are four very useful tips for those who want to have a brighter and whiter smile:

Use whitening toothpaste. Visits to the dentist are important not just to get treatment to have your teeth whitened, but also to remove the bacteria and plaque that have built up over time. Ask for any tips they may have for upkeep.

Chew gum and crunchy produce. Saliva is your mouth’s naturally means of cleaning bacteria and plaque, so pop in a stick of sugar-free gum. Speaking of consumption, munching on crunchy produce such as apples, carrots and celery can also help you keep your teeth bright and clean.

Take better care of your tooth enamel. Although considered as the hardest substance in the human body, tooth enamel cannot repair itself if it breaks down. It is important that you take good care of your tooth enamel by providing it with necessary protection, such as by getting fluoride treatment at the dentist’s office and using a fluoride-toothpaste.

Drink plenty of milk. Dairy products are high in calcium, which helps keep your teeth white and bright. Dairy gives your teeth the calcium it needs to keep enamel strong and helps rid your teeth of food particles that can cause stains and discoloration.

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental 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.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Ruin Your Dental Implants with Proper Care | Indianapolis Dentist

When we have the chance to improve your smile with dental implants, you will need to realize that while they are made to be quite resilient, you need to take care of them just as much as you do your own teeth. Don’t fret – it isn’t going to be an overhaul of your life. In fact, you may not even notice a difference at all. While you will be given instructions regarding aftercare and upkeep, here is a quick rundown of what you can expect to hear:

Brush and floss twice a day. Just like your regular teeth, implants need to be cleaned and flossed to prevent food particles from invading your gums and implant structure.

Say no to staining. Dental implants can stain the same as normal teeth. Steer clear of smoking, coffee, tea, sodas and wine. Don’t feel you need to avoid them completely – moderation is key.

Mouthwash. Special germicidal mouthwash is often prescribed by dentists for patients with dental implants. It helps reduce the risk of infection.

Dental visits twice a year. Regular dental visits are a part of normal dental hygiene but is especially true for people with dental implants. Your dental implants will need a thorough cleaning and plaque removal to continue to keep their brightness. Along with the cleaning, the condition of your gums, jaw and anchors will be checked.

Caring for restorations is just like caring for your natural teeth. You’ve gone through the process of getting the dental implant – maintain them for a smile that lasts a lifetime.

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental 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.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

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

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

 

 

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.

Can Dental Bonding Help Cover My Gum Recession?

Receding gums can make you conscious about your smile and can affect your self-esteem. To say that it can be scary experience is only fitting. Luckily, there are several treatment options available at your dentist’s clinic to help fix this problem, one of which is dental bonding.

What Is Dental Bonding?

Dental bonding is a dental procedure that involves the application of a composite resin to repair decayed, chipped, fractured and discolored teeth. For aesthetic purposes, the bonding is created to be that of the same shade as that of a patient’s surrounding teeth.

The procedure is considered as one of the cheapest and least-intrusive dental procedures available today. Although often used for cosmetic purposes, dental bonding has several functional benefits too. For example, the bonding material can be used to close tooth gaps, and change the shape of the teeth. Additionally, it can also be used as a cosmetic alternative to fillings.

The bonding can also be applied to the exposed areas on the tooth’s root caused by gum recession. This can help provide necessary protection to the roots and prevent cavities from forming. Even better, the bonding can also help address any sensitivity issues that may be caused by the roots being exposed because of gum recession.

Furthermore, for aesthetic purposes, bonded composite fillings can also be used to mask darker yellow-colored roots found in gaps between the gums and the crowns of the bridge.

Is It A Permanent Solution?

Unfortunately, applying bonding at the gumline is more of a cosmetic and temporary solution than anything else. Case in point, your gums may have receded because you brush your teeth too hard. Or, your parents also had gum recession, so you were born with a higher risk for receding gums. Either way, dental bonding cannot solve both problems, and you’re better off discussing things thoroughly with your dentist if you’re looking for a permanent solution to your receding gums.

Other Treatment Options

Of course, dental bonding is but one of the many treatments available for gum recession, and is considered to be mostly just cosmetic. If your gum recession is caused by poor oral health, it’s more likely that you’ll need to work with a dentist who specializes in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of gum disease, otherwise known as a periodontist. This is because your teeth and gums might require a deeper cleaning known as scaling and root planning.

Although very rare, it’s also possible for those with gum recession to require surgical treatment, specifically a gum graft. Also done by a periodontist, the surgical procedure involves grafting the gum tissue to cover exposed root surfaces and prevent further complications.

If you’re only mildly affected by receding gums, then you don’t have to worry much. The dentist will simply help identify the cause and give you instructions on how to treat it.

If you want to minimize your risk for gum recession, then be sure to take care of your oral health. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles, be gentle on your teeth when brushing and flossing and wear a night guard if you grind your teeth. Also, visit Dr. George Kirtley as soon as you experience any kind of persistent pain. Call for an appointment today at 317-841-1111. Or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.