Category Archives: Restorative Dentistry

Dental Crowns: The Key to Your New Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

crownsHaving a perfect smile is something that not many people have, but many strive to achieve. One of the biggest issues with teeth are damages incurred by everyday activities, whether it be a natural occurrence that developed over time or something that happened completely by accident. The good news is, there is a procedure that can be done to bring your smile back. And this cosmetic procedure is to replace your flawed tooth with a dental crown. With the use of crowns, you can have the smile you have always dreamed of.

No, we aren’t talking about the shiny hat worn by royalty. Dental crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are chipped/broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.

Crowns are “caps” cemented onto an existing tooth, fully covering the portion of your tooth above the gumline. In effect, the crown literally becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain and/or metal, but porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the characteristics of an actual tooth, both in their translucency of natural teeth and because the chemical makeup of porcelain makes these types of crowns very strong. Dental crowns also drastically decrease the amount of bacteria build-up that can lead to the loss of more teeth.

When debating between getting a crown or a filling, crowns are often preferable to silver amalgam fillings. Unlike fillings which apply metal directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.

Dental crowns look extremely natural because the porcelain and composite resin crowns match the exact shade of your natural teeth. With dental crowns, you will not be able to tell the difference from your crowns and natural teeth. Because dental crowns are made from porcelain, a material that is not prone to discoloration, dental crowns are stain-resistant. With durable materials used for your dental crowns, dental crowns can last up to 15 years. With dental crowns, patients can go about their daily routines without constantly worrying about their dental crowns falling out of place.

For more information on dental crowns and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

I Knocked Out My Tooth: Is It Lost Forever? | Indianapolis Dentist

Though many hockey players consider a lost tooth a badge of honor, it is possible to reimplant a knocked-out adult tooth. A severed root experiences damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be re-formed. The key to a successful reimplantation is how the missing tooth is stored and for how long.

Assuming you can find the tooth, avoid scraping off any dirt particles, as you risk damaging the root further. Instead, rinse it gently with a saline solution while carefully handling it by the crown. If possible, place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container with saline or milk. Milk—containing proteins, sugar, and antibacterial substances—provides the ideal environment for a lost tooth. As an added bonus, the sugars in milk help feed cells, which need to remain alive and growing in the short term.

Don’t have access to any of the above? Don’t panic. Your cheek will work well for storage in the interim; just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo.

Placing pressure on the gums will also help to reduce the bleeding and pain as you are en route to the dentist. Depending on the damage, a successful reimplanted tooth can heal significantly in three to four weeks, and become fully repaired within two months.

For more information on options for your missing tooth and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com

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

Smile Makeovers: Your Confidence Booster | Indianapolis Dentist

Dental treatmentYou know that smiles are one of the first things you show off to strangers and yours is a little less than what you consider to be a great smile. Are you thinking of a smile makeover? Why not let your dental professional help you turn back the hands of time with a new smile? They are the ideal ones to help you determine if you’re a candidate for a smile makeover. You will both be able to put together a plan to best correct your teeth.

A smile makeover is a cosmetic procedure – it’s meant to treat a wide range of visual imperfections to bring you a smile that will make you proud. Dental professionals will address a number of different issues that you may dislike about your current smile, such as color, alignment, and missing teeth.

A smile makeover is designed to address each individual aspect of your smile piece by piece. Discolored teeth may be whitened, and visible fillings can be replaced with natural looking composite fillings that match your natural tooth color. Crooked, overlapping teeth can be straightened, and gaps can be narrowed as your overall alignment is adjusted to form a more perfect smile. In some cases, bonding may be used to conceal imperfections, adding layers of synthetic material to hide chips.

Teeth that were lost or damaged are no longer an issue either. They can be restored with a variety of dental procedures, such as crowns, implants, bridges, or partial dentures. Depending on the state of the tooth, your dentist will recommend covering the front of your teeth with a thin shell of porcelain or synthetic veneers, or placing a crown over the entire tooth to improve shape, size, and strength. Dental implants and bridges may be an option for patients that have lost an entire tooth to injury or periodontal disease.

A smile makeover can erase years from your appearance, boost your confidence, increase your self-esteem and improve your overall dental health. So why not take a chance? A full-mouth makeover can also fix a vast number of dental issues like, bad breath, decay, missing teeth, discolored teeth and more. Say goodbye to your imperfect smile and hello to your new set of pearly whites.

For more information on smile makeovers and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

How Dental Implants Can Save Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

lots of smilesMany patients put off going to the dentist. Whether they’re afraid of the pain, the noise of the procedures or the monetary cost of dental work, putting off dental visits can turn small problems into larger ones. Left long enough and your teeth can be lost due to decay, infection, or physical problems like cracking.

For the most severe dental problems, one of the common treatments is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.

The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root, and placing a titanium implant post into the patient’s jawbone. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and it should be allowed to heal for 6-12 weeks, as the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth

While there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia (such as Novocain). The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable, convenient replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.

For more information on dental implants and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

Taking Care of Business: Dental Implant Edition | Indianapolis Edition

Dental ImplantYou never thought it could happen, but your dentist tells you that you need dental implants. What exactly does that entail? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root similar to a screw that is placed in your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Like a prosthetic for your smile. It will take a few procedures but once it’s done, it’ll be like you never had a missing tooth.

But what now? You have a basic grasp of daily oral care, but implants can’t possibly be the same to maintain as normal teeth, right? Does this mean you will need to retrain yourself a new dental care routine in order to look after them? Not exactly, but you will definitely have some things to alter a bit. The following are just a few things to keep in mind as you are going forward with your brand new teeth.

Once you have your implants in place, you will have a tooth/teeth that will look just like the others. You will be able to eat normally, speak without issue and no one will be able to tell so you can smile just as you did before losing the tooth. While implants are designed to withstand quite a bit, but just because they aren’t your originals, it doesn’t mean you can go neglecting them. They may not be able to get cavities like your originals, but they can go bad on you like the real versions. You can get inflamed gums and infections, or periodontal disease, just like before. So consider them exactly like your real teeth when you are looking after them. Dental implants are generally meant to last for decades to come, but they are still breakable. Handle them with care. Make sure you are careful when you are cleaning or caring for them.

Your “new teeth” will require periodic checking by your dentist to ensure that everything is working properly and the surrounding gums and bone are being maintained and remain healthy. They will also require x-rays periodically to evaluate the level of bone around your implants. If gum disease is taking place, your gums will recede, showing your implants and making them weaker and prone to breaking. Dental restorations attached to your implants will also require periodic checking by your dentist to verify that they are secure and functioning properly.

For more information on dental implants and to make an appointment call, Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

Dr. Kirtley gladly welcomes patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

What Are My Options For Missing Teeth?

ThinkstockPhotos-146796980If you don’t feel confident about having a few missing teeth, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, most have had a couple of decayed or missing teeth by the time they’re adults.

Now, it doesn’t matter how you lost your teeth, what matters is that you have them replaced. This is because having missing teeth replaced can go a long way in giving you back a complete set of teeth. This means you’re getting your smile back. Not only that, but the way you chew and speak will all go back to how it once was when you still had a full set of teeth.

Listed below are some of the tooth replacement options that should be available at your dental care professional.

Dental Implants

Because they’re surgically implanted, dental implants offer a long-term and durable solution to those who have a few missing teeth.

The typical process of getting an implant involves three stages that take place over several weeks and even months. The first of the process is where the implant is surgically buried, and the second is where the implant is checked for proper integration and some of the posts are connected. In the last part of the process, the dentist installs the prosthetic tooth and the patient walks out of the clinic with a new, full set of teeth.

The lengthy process is a huge disadvantage. However, many dental health professionals do not see that as much of a problem. This is because dental implants are the most similar to natural teeth among tooth replacement options, and are the ones who can possibly last for as long as the patient lives.

Bridges

Dental bridges are, basically, dental appliances used to bridge the gap left by missing teeth.

Unlike dental implants that are surgically implanted and allowed to fuse with the jawbone, bridges rely on the adjacent teeth for support. Like an anchor of sorts. The effect on the adjacent teeth is something worth taking note of if you plan to get a dental bridge to replace your missing teeth.

Dentures

For those who are missing more than a couple of teeth, dentures may be your only hope.

Dentures are removable appliances with artificial teeth and come in as partial dentures and full dentures. The difference between the former and the latter is that the former, which as the name suggests, replaces only a set number of teeth. Meanwhile, full dentures require all of the remaining teeth to be removed first to, basically, be replaced by a full set of removable artificial teeth.

Now, as you can see, you are not entirely hopeless. More importantly, though, is that it doesn’t matter which of the three treatment options you choose. The important thing here is that you have those missing teeth of yours replaced. Because, if not, you’re going to end up with an incomplete smile and the many other complications that come with it, such as increased risk for gum disease, malocclusions, jaw pain, and so on.

If you’re interested, visit your dental health professional immediately and have yourself checked to see which of the three treatment options will benefit you the most.

If you’re interested in replacing your missing teeth with the dental restorations mentioned above, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to see which of three treatment options will benefit you most or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com for more information.

What Can You Do About Missing Teeth?

lots of smiles

If you don’t have a full set of pearly whites, don’t worry because you’re not alone. In fact, most adults have lost a couple of teeth already, either to decay or some form of accident. But, then again, you wouldn’t know, considering that most adults often sport complete smiles.

If you’re wondering how some adults have managed to hide their missing teeth quite well, then you’ve come to the right place.

Listed below are some of the tooth replacement options that you can avail at the dentist’s office.

  • Dental Implants – Dental implants are surgically implanted into your mouth, offering a sturdy and long-term solution for your missing teeth. The process typically involves three stages and can take several months to finish. However, despite how long the procedure takes, a lot of people are willing to wait because dental implants are considered to offer the best mix of both durability and comfort out of all the other tooth replacement options available.

 

  • Bridge – Bridges come in different types, but they’re generally dental appliance used to bridge the gap left by your missing teeth. Unlike dental implants, which are simply surgically attached to your mouth, bridge uses the adjacent teeth from your missing teeth for support, like an anchor of sorts.

 

  • Dentures – Dentures, basically, are removal appliances that mimic how a full set of teeth looks, as well as functions. You may be fitted with full dentures, which will basically replace all of your teeth, both the remaining and missing ones. Or, you can be fitted with overdentures, which just fit over your few remaining teeth. Either way, dentures are often recommended only to those missing just a couple of teeth. It is not uncommon for those wearing dentures to complain for the first few weeks or even months, as it takes time to adjust to these appliances.

Prevent Teeth From Falling Out

Save from the accidental trauma that may knock out a tooth or two from your mouth, it is possible to prevent the loss of teeth. And, judging by how much of a hassle either one of the three procedures stated above can be, it’s best that you try and shape up your oral routine.

For starters, you can start by thinking that age is the predominant factor, because it isn’t. Like so many other complications, lifestyle, diet and healthy practices play much bigger factors than the year we were born.

In the case of missing teeth, healthy practices via good oral hygiene is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene and in more ways than one, prevent teeth from eventually falling out. This is likely because missing teeth are usually the result of severe gum disease, a dental complication that can be prevented with regular and daily brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash.

It’s also best to remember that missing teeth just isn’t bad for your look. It’s bad for your health in general.

That being said, it’s best to remember to take proper care of our teeth and give it a good “workout” every day. After all, unlike going to the gym, keeping our teeth in tip-top shape doesn’t require you to go out of your house –it may not even require you to go out of your room!

If you have missing teeth that need replacing, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website to learn more about the dental services Dr. George Kirtly offers.

Dr. Geroge Kirtley welcomes patients from Spring Hill, Beach Grove and Warren Park.