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.

When Your Smile Needs a Makeover | Indianapolis Dentist

multiple-smilesIs your smile everything you want it to be? Do you have some teeth that could use a fix or two? If you have some flaws to your smile that make you feel self-conscious, it may be time for a smile makeover. These days, there are lots of ways to improve it with bonding and porcelain veneers.

Both bonding and porcelain veneers have similarities. They both are used to cover dental imperfections. However, the procedures are quite different and we will break them both down so you have a better idea of what you’d prefer. A consultation with your dental professional will be the best option in order to get a treatment program into place.

Dental bonding uses a smooth tooth-colored solution that is applied to the flawed teeth. Various uses, bonding your teeth can remedy anything from covering stains, to covering up small chips and gaps. After the dental bonding solution has been applied and shaped, it is hardened by using a specialized dental light. Once dried and cured, additional layers may be applied in order to create a more natural look, then polished. Bonding is used on patients who need one or two teeth corrected.

When it comes to veneers, they are created differently. Your new teeth will be fabricated from a solid piece of porcelain. While bonding is applied to your actual teeth, veneers fit over the front and underside of your tooth, covering it completely. They are used for multiple reasons, especially when it comes to lengthening or widening teeth to close gaps or fill in chips. While bonding is best for simple small fixes, porcelain veneers are generally used for patients who have several cosmetic problems or want their entire set of front facing teeth made over. Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to maintain afterwards, look incredibly natural, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options. While veneers and bonding are cosmetic procedures used to treat similar problems, veneers may be a better alternative in cases where the patient wants to adjust the size or shape of the tooth.

A crown is a functional covering that dentists put over a damaged or decayed tooth or teeth after the dentist has removed the defective area. A dental crown can be used to strengthen a tooth, improve appearance and can be placed on top of a dental implant. With advancements in dental technology like the CEREC system, you can get all of this done in one day. The obvious advantage of this is that it saves you lots of time. Another advantage of the CEREC technology is precision. The scanner the dentist uses takes excellent 3D images of your jawline and the computer the dentist uses takes excellent images of the area for the crown. With such good information, your dentist has less healthy tooth structure to remove when preparing the tooth or teeth for a crown than with the traditional method. Unlike a porcelain veneer, these one day crowns are made with an enamel-like material. No metal is used. For this reason, X-rays can see through these crowns in a day and detect cavities easily.

A dental consultation is necessary to find out more about your smile makeover options and to coordinate a dental treatment plan. So ask about your options. Your smile will be gleaming very soon.

For more information on smile makeovers 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 Dental Implants Are the Ultimate Solution for Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

Dental ImplantAs far as missing teeth go, you have three dental options to choose from: dental implants, bridges and dentures. Each one of the three has its own set of distinct advantages and disadvantages. However, of all three options, dental implants are considered as a much better option. But why is that?

Dental implants are permanent fixtures of titanium posts. The posts are anchored to your jawbone and topped off with an all-new replacement tooth or a bridge that’s screwed or cemented into the posts themselves. Of the three, dental implants are the ones that feel and function like natural teeth. But to further convince you on why implants are just better, let’s talk about the different advantages of both bridges and dentures.

Bridges are dental restorations that span the gap left by missing teeth and is connected to the teeth adjacent to the space left behind. Typically, bridges consist of filler teeth, which are anchored or attached, then bonded to a crown or the surrounding teeth. The procedure for bridges is easy and rarely takes no longer than two visits, and rarely require surgery. This is a huge advantage to those that have dental anxiety. But dental bridges are cheap, especially when compared to the initial costs of other procedures, such as dentures and implants.

When it comes to dentures, they can either be partial or complete and are used to replace the bottom arch or the top arch of your mouth. If the situation requires it, dentures can also be used to replace all of the patient’s teeth. Unlike bridges, it’s hard to find where dentures hold an advantage when compared to dental implants. This is especially evident when you consider the many issues concerning dentures, such as potential warping and an uncomfortable and loose fit that may lead to embarrassing moments when speaking and/or eating.

Dental implants are not always the best choice, which is why fixed bridges and removable dentures are still used. However, dental implants are a better solution the majority of the time because unlike removable dentures, implants do not slip, or make embarrassing clicking sounds when eating or speaking. Also, unlike bridges, there’s no partial cutting involved when it comes to having dental implants placed inside your mouth. The most important factor, though, as to why dental implants are just better is because dental implants do not put the patient’s teeth at as much of a risk to recurrent decay and gum disease as dental bridges and dentures would. As an added bonus, dental implants can last for as long as 25 years. This is a full ten years to the 7 to 15 years that fixed bridges and removable dentures can only last for until they need to be replaced.

For more information on dental implants 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.