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Dental Implants Procedure – All You Need To Know

Of the many notable advancements in dental technology, dental implants have to be one of the most significant. Before the introduction of dental implants, patients who had lost a tooth only had two options: bridges or dentures. But, thanks to dental implants, patients who’ve lost a tooth or two previously now have an attractive, permanent replacement option that’s similar to a real tooth in many ways.

What Makes Up A Dental Implant?

Dental implants are made up of three major components: the fixture, the abutment and the replacement. The procedure typically starts by inserting the fixture into the jaw bone and letting it heal. Once the area has fully healed, the abutment is then inserted into the fixture. Finally, the replacement prosthetic tooth is then inserted, which the fixture holds in place for years to come.

What makes dental implants truly exceptional is that they’re typically made out of medical-grade titanium. This is because unlike other materials, titanium not only is durable, but is also very rarely rejected by the human body.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Those who were afraid of smiling or even talking can easily feel much more confident in their smiles thanks to dental implants. Made to feel and look like real teeth, dental implants are just much better for a patient’s self-confidence. Not only that, but because dental implants are held much more securely in place, talking and speaking feels just as natural as with real teeth. Patients don’t need to worry about implants coming loose like dentures. Nor do they have to be anchored to other teeth, like bridges. Aesthetics aside, dental implants are also just that much better for oral health.

Is The Procedure Safe?

Generally, dental implant surgery is very safe, with its success rates very high as well. Although dental implant success rates depend on the location of the missing teeth, the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) reported an average success rate of more than 95 percent in 34 implant outcome studies. In addition, the procedure itself carries very few risks of complications. But, be warned, the procedure may not be suitable for those who smoke regularly or suffer from diabetes. Your dentist should be able to evaluate to see whether dental implants are a good fit for you or not.

As is with any other dental procedure, good oral health habits are necessary for them to be truly successful. Don’t worry, though, because caring for dental implants is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. All you have to do is to remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and visit the dentist for cleanings and checkups every six months or so.

If you’re missing a tooth and believe that dental implants are a good fit for you, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or

DIY Remedies: The All-Natural Edition | Indianapolis Dentist

Vector cartoon sick tooth. Decay and destroy tooth.There are lots of dental problems that arise as we progress in life, and they range from minor to serious. Sometimes you don’t have time to make it to the dentist, and sometimes you are just waiting for your appointment. There must be something you can do in the meantime to help remedy a few of the more common problems that may present itself. There are loads of different over-the-counter remedies to counter these issues, but there are also natural remedies you could actually have in your home at this very moment. The following is a list of things you can do at home for a quick fix to various dental issues, listed from minor to major:

Bad breath. No one likes to know they have bad breath. It’s awkward and embarrassing, for everyone involved. Try chewing on fennel seeds or parsley. Fenugreek leaves boiled into a tea can be used as a mouthwash. Grab a handful of leaves and swish the tea around in your mouth twice a day.

Discolored teeth. There are a few things you can do to gradually turn your yellowed teeth to a sparkling white grin. Make a paste with some baking soda and water and brush your teeth with it once a week. Turn some strawberries into a paste and rub it onto your teeth. It may sound strange but the acids in strawberries scrub your teeth in the most delicious way possible. If you are looking for something a bit more exotic, mix mustard oil with holy basil leaves. The paste is fantastic for fading your teeth’s tinge.

Gum infections. If you find that your gums have become inflamed, chances are you will need to take a trip to the dentist. But in the meantime, rinse with warm saline water three times a day. It will keep the area clean and plaque-free. Chewing basil leaves is also known to sooth gums so have some handy if you begin to feel some discomfort. Mustard oil come in handy here too. Mix a little with a pinch of salt to help relieve any mild infection, or loose tooth, you may have.

Toothaches. If your pain has progressed all the way to full-blown toothache, it may feel like nothing will help it. Would you believe it can be fixed by pressing a clove of garlic on the pain? It works. Turmeric powder pressed on a cavity will work wonders on a cavity. Similar to a topical anesthetics we use for cuts, clove oil will do the same anti-bacterial things, but for your mouth.

Dental problems are bound to happen at some point. It’s natural. And as you can see, there are lots of natural ways we can help relieve some of our dental problems. They may not be total solutions, but they will work great until you can get into the dental chair.

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

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

Porcelain Fillings: Could the Pirates Be Wrong? | Indianapolis Dentist

periodontal diseaseIf there’s anything that we do know, it’s that pirates love their gold. They search the high seas looking for the stuff and buried boxes of it everywhere they went so as not to robbed by other water-bound marauders. And when they lost a tooth what was its replacement? Gold. Next to Donald Trump and ancient Egypt, pirates hold high rank in the gold loving department. But were they correct in preferring to use gold in their mouths?

Let’s take a look at the pros. Gold is exceptionally durable. Your fillings will generally last over a decade but could last a lifetime if taken care of and corrosion is impossible, so this is a great way to go. If aesthetics is more important to you than durability, gold will always win out over silver. Point to the pirates. However, with every pro comes a con. Gold costs a lot more than silver and takes longer to set the filling. Like, two entire dentist visits to set the filling. But if you can handle the extra cost and time required, grab yourself a bottle of rum. You are team pirate.

But what if you aren’t in the market to look like a pirate? Well then, porcelain fillings are where you should be heading. This tooth-colored filling is not only tough like the precious metal, but it is more versatile when it comes to where you can use it in your mouth as it isn’t as obvious as a gold one. The price point is somewhat similar as well. Something that does not compare is the fact that porcelain does not adjust to hot and cold and won’t wear down as quickly as their metal counterparts. Even the installation is kept to a minimum. In fact, the American Dental Association believes that porcelain fillings are the most wear-resistant fillings on the market. Looks like porcelain has a bit more of an edge over the golden version.

There are a few factors that will lead to your final decision. Making sure you have all your options is the most important and your dentist will have those options for you after a quick checkup. Regardless of the choice you make, if you need a filling done, see your dental professional as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more damage you can do to your teeth. Whatever you decide to use to fill your tooth, with proper oral care, your fillings will not only be taken care of for years to come, but your teeth will be so healthy you won’t need any more fillings. Two birds!

If you need to have porcelain fillings done, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 to schedule a consultation to help treat the underlying cause, or visit for information about Dr. George Kirtley and his practice.

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

Dental Sealants | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Woman having teeth examined at dentistsTooth decay is likely to occur when food particles sit in the depressions, nooks, and crannies in and between teeth, allowing bacterial colonies to form, creating acid that eats holes into teeth. While brushing and flossing will do a reasonably good job of removing food particles from the depressions in teeth, dental sealants are a procedure used by dentists to help prevent accumulation of food in the depressions of teeth in the first place.

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of teeth – typically molars or premolars – to help keep food from settling within the bite surface. Dental sealants bond to the bite surface, providing a protective surface between the tooth and the food, so that patients are even less likely to experience tooth decay. Because sealants can not only keep food out, but also prevent treatment of existing decay, dental sealant is typically a procedure applied to young patients – often children and teenagers in their most cavity prone years (6-14).

The process for applying sealants is fairly straightforward. First, teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. An acidic solution is used to roughen the surface of the enamel to allow the sealant to properly bond, and then teeth are rinsed and dried again. Finally, the sealant is painted on in a thin layer, and hardened with a special light used to cure the plastic. Properly applied, a dental sealant can protect the bite surface of teeth for up to 10 years.

If you have children in the cavity prone age ranges, or if you’re concerned about tooth decay on rear teeth that are difficult to brush, ask your dentist about dental sealants. They may not be an option for every patient, but your dentist will be able to advise you about whether or not you or your children are good candidates, as well as informing you of the cost and time frame of the procedure.

For more information on dental sealants 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.

Tooth Decay | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

477787597Cavities. It may be the word most closely associated with a trip to the dentist. While many patients think of cavities, many dentists tend to call the condition tooth decay.

Whether you call it a cavity or tooth decay, the problem is the same: germs in your mouth create acid that eventually eats away at the hard surface of your teeth. If not treated, the decay can cause infection, pain, and eventually tooth loss.

As you eat food or drink beverages, a clear sticky substance, plaque, builds up on your teeth and consumes the remnants of the food and beverages. Consisting primarily of bacteria, the plaque consumes the sugars left on and between your teeth after meals. The acid from the plaque slowly destroys the enamel – the hard surface of your teeth – allowing acid and bacteria to reach the softer, less protected parts of your teeth, where decay and infection accelerates.

Dentists will use a combination of X-rays and close visual inspection to identify areas of decay in your mouth. If the decay has eaten through your enamel, the dentist will likely correct the issue by removing the decay with a dental drill, and fill the resulting void with a filling – typically resin or a substance known as amalgam.

With regular visits, it’s likely that your dentist will discover and correct decay before it becomes a major problem. Ideally, your dentist will be able to treat decay with simple fillings, rather than more invasive procedures like root canals and full tooth extractions. If you have pain in a specific tooth, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible, so that you can treat the source of the problem before it gets much worse.

For more information on tooth decay 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.

How do I take care of my new Porcelain Veneers? | Bloomington, IN

Once you achieve that picture perfect smile with porcelain veneers, you need to be sure to take good care of them. According to Dr. George Kirtley of Indianapolis, IN, Dental problems take their toll on veneers, so taking care of your teeth and gums is essential. Veneers are attached to your actual teeth, which means gum and hygiene problems can greatly affect the veneers.


One way to keep your porcelain veneers at their best is to polish them. You can have your teeth and veneers polished once every three to four months. Special tools will be used to buff and clean your teeth and veneers thoroughly. In addition, regular brushing and flossing and regular dental visits will keep your veneers looking great for years.

Mind food and Activities

Even though porcelain veneers act like regular teeth, they cannot withstand excessive pressure. Always try to avoid biting on hard bones, holding things between your teeth, or even chewing finger nails. Also, chewing ice can be extremely damaging to your teeth and veneers, chipping or breaking them. If you engage in sports, always be sure to wear a mouth guard.

How Long Do They Last?

Porcelain veneers are made of a bonding material that does not wear down easily. With proper care as noted above. Veneers can possibly last your entire life. One of the many reasons porcelain veneers are one of the most popular options for smile makeovers.

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



Tired of your Bridge or Dentures? Dental Implants could be the solution. | Indianapolis, IN

Not many people know what a dental implant is, what it does and if it’s right for them. Dr. George Kirtley DDS of Indianapolis, IN has put together some information to shed more light on dental implants.

A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge. Dental implants are good for people in good general oral health who have lost a tooth or teeth due to periodontal disease, an injury, or some other reason. Dental implants are natural-looking and feeling and under proper conditions, such as placement by a diligent patient maintenance, implants can last a lifetime.

What do Dental Implants Do?

  • Replace one or more teeth
  • Support a bridge and reduce the need for a partial denture.
  • Provide support for a denture, making it more secure and comfortable.

Types of Implants

  • Endosteal (in the bone): Most commonly used type of implant. Screws, cylinders or blades are surgically placed into the jawbone.
  • Subperiosteal (on the bone): These are placed on top of the jaw with the metal framework’s

Dental Implants vs Dentures or a Bridge

Esthetically dental implants look and feel like your own teeth. Since dental implants integrate into the structure of your bone, they prevent the bone loss and gum recession that often happen with bridgework and dentures.

Neighboring teeth are not changed to support the implant as with a bridge. More of your own teeth are left untouched, a significant long-term benefit to your oral health.

Dental implants are secure. You don’t have to worry when speaking or eating. No messy pastes and glue. You will go about your daily routine with confidence and comfort.

The success rate of dental implants is highly predictable. They are considered an excellent option for tooth replacement.

Are Dental Implants Right for You?

Ideally you need to be in good oral health and have adequate bone in your jaw to support the implant. In addition you will need healthy gum tissue, free of periodontal disease.

If you think you could benefit from a dental implant, make an appointment today with Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website at