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.

 

 

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 www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Make Small Teeth Look Bigger with Porcelain Veneers

porcelain veneers

Teeth can look small for a variety of reasons. It may be too short, or too narrow, or it may just look small because too much gum tissue is visible. Despite the different possible reasons, however, having small teeth is very rarely considered a medical problem. Even so, having very small teeth is still considered as a problem that only dental professionals can fix. Albeit, an aesthetic one. In particular, those who’ve always wanted a big and beautiful smile that shows off their teeth may worry about their smiles showing too little teeth.

Although there are numerous possible treatments for those with small teeth, porcelain veneers are considered as the surest bet as far as aesthetics go.

How Porcelain Veneers Can Help

There are many ways porcelain veneers can help those with small teeth. If the teeth are too narrow, porcelain veneers can help add width to make them look larger. If they’re short, adding porcelain veneers can make the teeth look longer, provided your bite allows increased length. Put simply, porcelain veneers are an excellent way to help change the size, color, shape and width of your teeth and smile.

The process involved in getting porcelain veneers makes sure that everything is proportionate and blend well with the aesthetics of your face and features. Both photos and impressions of your teeth are then taken. These are then sent to a dental laboratory for “wax-ups”. Once done, most cosmetic dentists will allow you to do a trial smile before the actual procedure starts. But once it does, however, it usually is straightforward and doesn’t involve much pain, if any at all.

While the process may involve plenty of “checkpoints”, which may involve wearing temporaries, this is only done to make sure that your new teeth look great on you and fit you well.

Other Alternatives

Of course, porcelain veneers aren’t the only procedure available for those who may see their teeth as “too small”.

For example, if the gum line is too low and more tooth needs to be exposed, the cosmetic dentist may recommend a gum lift instead. Doing so could help make most of the teeth show enough to make them look bigger or longer without the need for porcelain veneers.

Those who tend to grind their teeth frequently and aggressively may also have short teeth. If that’s the case, the treatment is usually a bit more complex. Instead of gum lifts or porcelain veneers, the cosmetic dentist may recommend a form of full mouth reconstruction, which involves changing the bite and creating room to make the teeth look taller, among many other things.

Of course, because there are a number of possible solutions to small teeth, it’s best to visit Dr. George Kirtley to find out which option is best for you. Call today at 317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Why Are My Canine Teeth Pointed?

Having pointed canine teeth, sometimes referred to as ‘vampire teeth’, doesn’t always pose a threat to your dental health. The same probably can’t be said for your self-esteem and confidence. Although, if it’s any consolation, you’re not exactly alone. Many who were born with extremely sharp and pointy canine teeth also face the same dilemma every day.

Why Canine Teeth Are Sometimes Pointed

The canine teeth are the four teeth that are often pointy, resembling that of dogs. There are two on the top teeth and another two on the bottom. Their main purpose is to help us hold and tear food, which is why they are pointy in nature. However, some people have canines that appear much ‘sharper’ or pointier than others. Although usually not dangerous, some find it uncomfortable that their canine teeth are pointier compared to others.

What You Can Do About It

Those who’re embarrassed of their ‘extra-pointy’ canine teeth can turn to cosmetic dentistry for help.

Tooth recontouring, also known as tooth reshaping, is a procedure that’s used to change the shape, length, or surface appearance of teeth. It’s also used in helping fix crooked and chipped teeth. Also, as you can guess right now, the procedure can also help fix ‘vampire teeth’.

The solution is rather simple and straightforward. Better yet, it often shows instant results. In fact, the procedure typically only requires a single visit and three at the most.

What happens during the procedure is that the dentist simply sands away any extra enamel that’s making you conscious about how your pointy teeth look. The dentist does this as carefully as possible, to make sure that only millimeters of enamel is removed. The change is usually evident after just one session.

If necessary, your dentist will recommend an additional procedure – dental bonding. The said procedure uses tooth-colored material to sculpt and reshape the tooth. Although optional, the procedure may be necessary for the results you want.

The Benefits of Tooth Recontouring

Of course, you should be able to smile more often now that you’re no longer worried about how having ‘extra-pointy’ canine teeth. This does wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. However, that’s not all. The ‘extra long’ canine teeth can sometimes be a breeding ground for bacteria and tartar. By having them removed or filed, you’re greatly reducing your chances of having tooth decay or gum disease anytime soon.

Besides, it’s not like the procedure is anything drastic or invasive. It’s also generally painless. The treatment doesn’t even require anesthesia most of the time, so there’s really little reason for you NOT to consider having your vampire teeth reshaped.

Vampire Teeth No More

If you’ve been extra conscious about smiling just because of those pointy teeth of yours, then tooth reshaping and dental bonding could very well be the right treatment for you.

So, what are waiting for? Visit the office of Dr. George Kirtley to discuss your smile goals, and learn the best course of treatment for your case. Who knows, you could soon be walking around and beaming the smile that you’ve always wanted!

Call today at  317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

 

How Porcelain Veneers Can Change Your Life

porcelain veneers can change your life

In case you didn’t already know, porcelain veneers are the secret behind many of Hollywood’s best smiles. Of course, genetics play a big role in how beautiful and handsome most celebrities are. But, porcelain veneers help take their appearance to the proverbial next level. And, if they can do wonders for such genetically-blessed people, just imagine what it can do for the average person.

What Is A Porcelain Veneer?

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that are bonded to the front of the teeth to help improve the appearance of your smile. For optimal results, the veneers are made to match both the shape and the color of your natural teeth.

To prepare your teeth for the veneers, the dentist will simply have to remove a millimeter of enamel from each tooth’s surface. The dentist will then proceed to take an impression of the inside of your mouth and form a mold. The mold is then sent to a dental laboratory. There, a dental technician creates the veneers according to the dentist’s specifications.

Once ready, the dentist will bond the veneers to your teeth using a special cement and soon enough, you’ll be free to enjoy a smile you’ll be proud to flash to anyone you come across with.

Are Porcelain Veneers For Me?

Well, that depends. Discolored, chipped, decayed and poorly shaped teeth are generally considered good candidates for veneers. However, even situations involving slight gaps between two teeth, and issues such as minor-crowding and bite-related problems, can benefit from veneers.

Before thinking about getting veneers, however, it’s important that you get to know the product a bit more first. Specifically, the advantages and disadvantages.

Case in point, porcelain veneers will, more often than not, give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Also, with the procedure, very little tooth structure is lost, and dentists rarely resort to using anesthesia. Veneers are also very durable and are resistant to most stains that natural teeth aren’t resistant to.

Unfortunately, the procedure is irreversible. This pertains to both the enamel removed and the color once the veneers have been cemented. Temperature sensitivity is also to be expected for a few days. Also, even if veneers are very strong, they can be damaged by chewing or biting something hard, such as ice and fingernails, so you may want to curb such habits should you choose to have dental veneers.

A True Life-Changing Procedure

Save from forcing yourself to stop fingernail biting or chewing on ice and other like habits, as well as wearing a night-guard if you tend to clench or grind your teeth, you don’t really need to change a lot about your daily routine once you have porcelain veneers.

You simply have to clean the veneers as you would your own teeth, which means flossing them once or twice a day, and brushing two to three times every day. Although your dentist may recommend an oral care product to help maintain the longevity of your newly restored smile.

Remember, having a great smile makes you look more trustworthy. It can also go a long way in helping you create that first impression you need to land that dream job or promotion you’ve always wanted.

Be sure to discuss porcelain veneers with Dr. George Kirtley today to know if you’re a good candidate for this truly life-changing procedure! Call today at 317-841-1111 or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Why Are Dental Implants The Best Option For a Missing Tooth?

dental implants

Most people who’ve lost a tooth often consider dental implants as the last restorative dental treatment they’d opt for. It’s not uncommon for people to believe that they’re just worth the money and hassle, as the procedure is often believed to be “extremely risky”, on top of being expensive.

While it’s true that dental implants are expensive, they are most definitely worth the money and hassle.

Below are three good reasons to convince you why dental implants are the best option for a missing tooth:

  1. It looks and feel like your natural tooth.

As far as restorative dental treatment goes, the only thing better than a dental implant is your natural tooth. To be exact, a dental implant + prosthetic tooth is the only treatment capable of giving your teeth full functionality back again, as if you hadn’t lost a tooth at all.

Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically inserted into your jaws. Once the jaw bones have had enough time to heal, it’s able to act like a tooth root, which helps strengthen your jaws and provide a stable and durable root for the prosthetic tooth.

Healing can take as much as 6 months, after which the dentist attaches a post to the implant, which is where the prosthetic tooth will be attached to.

  1. Your smile remains as beautiful as ever.

Because dental implants mimic the full functionality of your natural tooth, it’s also the best treatment of choice for maintaining the beauty of your smile.

Both the titanium implant and prosthetic tooth does wonders in helping maintain bite function, jaw bone density and even the health of the surrounding teeth. Just to remind you, failing to replace missing teeth will cause the surrounding teeth to try to twist and cover the gap, which will only lead to worse dental problems in the future. With dental implants, such problems can be avoided.

Even better is that the prosthetic tooth can be color-matched to the rest of your teeth so it will fit in seamlessly and give you back the beautiful smile that you’ve always had.

  1. It is a permanent solution to tooth loss.

While it is true that the prosthetic tooth can only look for a decade or so, the dental implants can go on much longer, forever even.

Also, because they are very durable, looking after a dental implant is not that big of a hassle. In a way, it not only is a permanent solution to tooth loss, but also a cost-effective long-term treatment at that.

To take proper care of dental implants, you only need to take good care of your teeth and gums, which isn’t really that hard. More so when you compare it to have to remove your dentures and using a soft brush to clean them carefully before putting them back in.

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

Can Periodontal Disease Be Cured?

periodontal disease

Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If they’re puffy or red and bleed much more easily, then it is possible that you’re suffering from gingivitis, the most common form of periodontal disease. Although seldom painful, gingivitis shouldn’t be taken lightly. If left unchecked, gingivitis can spread to the ligaments and bones below the gums, becoming what’s known as periodontitis.

Without treatment, periodontitis can wreak serious damage on your teeth and gums, to the point that the infection causes a very painful tooth abscess and even make your tooth become loose and fall out.

Given how serious periodontal disease is, one might ask, can it be cured?

Treatable, But Not Curable

There are generally just two types of periodontal disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. Of the two, the former is a mild form and it is treatable with proper dental treatment in the dental office and good oral care at home. However, there is no cure anymore once gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

Patients who develop severe periodontal disease, or periodontitis, will require extensive treatment at the dental office. This usually involves a special cleaning to remove plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces called scaling and root planning, or sometimes referred to as deep cleaning. Medication to help control the infection and pain, as well as to aid the healing process are also necessary. Other treatments may also be involved as well, especially if some, if not all, of the teeth have been severely infected, or in worse cases, have fallen out already.

The extensive treatment process can take months. It’s also quite expensive as well, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. Even worse, once you’ve had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend you more frequent dental checkups. This is because periodontitis is something that can’t be cured, it can only be managed and kept under control via regular dental visits, deep cleanings and by practicing good oral hygiene at home.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As complicated and as severe as periodontal disease is, you don’t necessarily have to suffer from it. Gingivitis can easily be prevented by following a program of good dental hygiene, one that begins at home and at an early age.

A good dental hygiene routine to follow is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. It would be an even better idea to brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing alone, though, isn’t enough, as you have to make sure that you do it effectively and thoroughly. It’s recommended that you take at least three to five minutes to brush and floss your teeth. Also, remember to floss first before brushing to help clean away any loose food particles and bacteria that may be lodged in between your teeth.

Most important of all, don’t forget to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Although the frequency may vary, dentists do recommend getting a dental checkup as often as every six months to one year. Call today to schedule your checkup with Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111.

How to Keep Your Breath Fresh | Indianapolis Dentist

Chewing GumDo you suspect you have bad breath? If so, it might be an indication of other problems and not just a lack of proper oral hygiene. With perpetual bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.

The medical condition dry mouth (xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.

Many other diseases and illnesses may cause bad breath. Here are some to be aware of: respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

Below are five easy ways to keep your breath fresh all day:

Stay hydrated. If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, drinking a lot of water can help speed up the process of cleaning harmful bacteria and debris from between your teeth, by rinsing your mouth out as well. Drinking milk can even help deodorize some offensive breath odors. So make sure you drink your daily intake of water and avoid sugary drinks!

Keep coffee use to a minimum. It may be tasty, but coffee is a tough smell to get off the back of your tongue. If you feel like you can’t function without it, don’t quit completely. Instead, keep the intake to a minimum and have a toothbrush or sugar-free gum handy for afterwards.

Stay away from tobacco products. Cigarettes, pipes, and snuff can not only make you more susceptible to health issues, but smoking gives people horrible breath. Keeping them out of your life will have multiple benefits.

Cut back on alcohol. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth. Too much beer, wine, and hard liquor can make your breath smell less than fresh for up to eight to 10 hours after you finish drinking.

Chew sugarless gum. Wait for a good half hour after a meal before popping in a piece of sugarless gum. It can help with saliva flow, cleaning cavity-forming bacteria from your mouth before they can do any damage. Gum that’s 100% xylitol-sweetened can help reduce cavities, so feel free to indulge in this sweet treat after a good meal.

For more information regarding bad breath and/or 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.

Your Dental Visit Doesn’t Have to Be Scary | Indianapolis Dentist

Dental treatmentIt will always be a nerve-wracking time preparing to see any sort of health professional. As adults, we seem to try dodging these appointments whenever possible. You aren’t exactly sure why, you just know you don’t want to go. For many, the thought of the unknown is the worst part about these meetings. So after years of deflecting the inevitable, don’t you want to understand why?

The good thing about returning to the dentist after a long hiatus is that our first encounter is going to be virtually painless. The goal for this visit is to basically get to know you and your oral health. It’s going to be a breeze, so make your appointment to get that first consultation taken care of. Every journey begins with a proverbial first step, even if that step is your mouth’s.

When you appointment begins, your dentist is going to do is ask about your health history. It may seem intrusive because dentists focus on oral health, but a lot of issues can be determined via the mouth, so it’s important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your general health.

Typically, next will be x-rays. They’re necessary in order for your dentist to monitor your bone & jaw health. If you have recent ones, bring them with you to bypass this step. But prepare to have them done. Once they are done, your dental professional will clean your teeth. This will help them see any issues, like chips and cavities that may be developing due to your daily oral care or other health issues. Once that is done, not only will your mouth feel amazing, but your dentist can give you a better idea about things you need to do in order to take preventative measures. We want to stay ahead of anything that may happen in the future, so a good cleaning will help see the current state of your teeth.

And that’s basically it as far as the exam is concerned. Now it’s your turn to ask the questions. Take this time to discuss any questions or concerns you have going forward. They will have the best ideas about how to treat any issue they find necessary and prepare you for any surgeries that may need to take place. Be thorough. They are there to help you feel more at ease about your health, so don’t hesitate to mention any fears you may have.

Don’t worry. This first dental visit isn’t anything to worry about. In fact, it’s your first step to a beautiful smile. That in and of itself is good news.

For more information regarding and/or 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.

Why Athletes Have to Worry About Their Teeth | Indianapolis Dentist

thinkstockphotos-166340009When we think about athletes, we think about strong healthy individuals that take their sport by storm with all of their physical ability. They train hard, they eat well to give their bodies the proper nutrition in order to perform at their peak. But what if I told you that athletes actually have more to worry about when it comes to their oral health. It’s true. We may all have the same basic guidelines when it comes to oral care, but an athlete’s lifestyle isn’t the same as ours and needs to be treated as such. During their training, athletes often have high-carb diets and drink lots of energy drinks to keep up with things. Those two things alone are driving sugars and acids into their mouths, and these are the main causes for tooth decay and cavity-causing erosion. What they don’t realize is that when you have issues in your mouth, it can progress to cause pain. These pains may not be directly involved in the sport, but it can cause issues with sleeping and training in general, two necessities for all athletes to perform their best. So, if you are an athlete looking to better your overall performance on the field, track, court, or ice, you should look into your oral health!

Recent studies done and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2012 showed that 18 percent of athletes who attended the dental clinic of the London 2012 Olympic Games reported that their oral health damaged their training and performance in the games.

Researchers surveyed and examined 302 athletes from 25 sports and concluded these results:

  • Fifty-five percent had dental caries, the disease that causes cavities
  • Forty-five percent had dental erosion
  • More than three-quarters had gingivitis and 15 percent had gum disease
  • More than 40 percent of athletes were “bothered” by their oral health with 28 percent saying it impacted their quality of life and 18 percent saw an impact on their training and performance
  • Nearly half of the participants had not had an oral exam or hygiene care in the previous year

This just goes to show that oral health is an important tool and element of overall health, as it can effect one’s overall performance. And if you are in a sport that is more physical, make sure to see your dentist for a custom-fit mouthguard to ensure your teeth are protected from those tough hits. Preventative measures are key to keeping your entire athletic machine running in tiptop shape.

For more information on dental care for athletes and/or 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.