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 dentalimplantsinindianapolis.com.

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

Can a Smile Makeover Be the Answer? | Indianapolis Dentist

multiple-smilesYour smile is typically the first thing that people will notice about your appearance, whether good or not so good. The term smile makeover usually refers to the combination of certain dental procedures to give someone a flawless smile. Dr. Kirtley takes a unique approach to each patients smile goals and needs, recommending options that are in their best interest.   Whether your teeth are broken, chipped, missing, discolored, or otherwise damaged, Dr. Kirtley can restore your smile.

Smile makeovers can address a broad range of aesthetic flaws. These issues include:

  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Eroded, misshapen, or disproportionately sized teeth
  • “Gummy” smiles
  • An uneven gum line
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

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. 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.

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 and detect cavities easily.

Smile makeover are designed to enhance or even transform your self-image by giving you a brighter and more youthful smile, making your teeth look and function better through cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. Keep in mind the primary focus of a smile makeover is to improve the appearance of your smile rather than the health of your mouth. Therefore, if you have underlying oral health issues, they will need to be addressed before your makeover can begin. Dr. Kirtley can of course help you reach all your dental goals.

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.

How Implant Dentistry Can Bring Your Smile Back to Life | Indianapolis Dentist

thinkstockphotos-507064929We all know a person’s smile is one of the first things you see when meeting someone. Some are lovely, some need work, but their smile is unique and what sets them apart from the rest. But say something unfortunate happens and you lose a tooth or two. Chances are, it is going to affect your overall demeanor. Because we know it’s a major first impression, if you don’t have a full set of pearly whites, you may be more apt to not want to show off your teeth. Don’t worry. Most adults have lost a couple of teeth already, either to decay or some form of accident. Couldn’t tell, could you? Yes, it’s true. And if you’re wondering how some adults have managed to hide their missing teeth – it’s because of dental implants.

So if you lose a tooth, here are just a few of the tooth replacement options available:

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, 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.

Bridges – Bridges come in different types, but they’re a dental appliance used to bridge a gap left by missing teeth. Unlike dental implants, which are surgically attached to your mouth, bridges use the adjacent teeth to anchor your teeth down for support.

Dentures – Dentures are removal appliances that mimic how a full set of teeth looks and functions. You will be fitted with either full dentures, which replace all of your teeth. Or, you can be fitted with overdentures, which fit over your few remaining teeth. Either way, dentures are often recommended to those missing a couple of teeth.

Now that we know our smile can be saved if something happens, how can we take preventative measures so that we don’t have to deal with having any of these procedures done? Because not only does missing teeth ruin your smile, it can also lead to other health issues if not taken care of in a timely manner. 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 in your overall dental health than the year we were born.

When it comes to missing teeth, or your oral health in general, good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent teeth from eventually falling out. 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. So take care of your smile. We may be able to fix it, but what you do dictates the need.

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.

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.

Which Brand of Veneers Is Right for Me? | Indianapolis Dentist

177406608Have you ever met someone with a beautiful smile that didn’t want to show it off? Chances are you haven’t. And why would they? There’s just no reason to hide their beautiful smiles. But what if you don’t have that beautiful smile? Those of us who have to deal with chips, discoloration, misalignment and other complications, smiling can be a bittersweet experience. Fortunately, dental medicine offers plenty of solutions for those with imperfect smiles, with one of the most popular treatments of choice for adults being porcelain veneers.

A porcelain veneer is a medical appliance that’s applied as a cosmetic dental treatment. It’s thin and made out of pieces of porcelain that’s shaped to fit on the front of the teeth. Veneers are made to be strong and durable. They also have the added benefit of looking natural. They are custom-made to match both the shape and color of the patient’s teeth. Now, deciding to have porcelain veneers isn’t the end of it all, because you also have to choose which brand you’re going to go for.

In total, there are three popular brands carried by most cosmetic dentists – Lumineers, Da Vince Veneers and Lumineers. Here is a brief description of all three versions:

  • MAC Veneers – Exclusively produced by the Microdental laboratory in California, which also happens to be its inventors, MAC Veneers are made with pressed ceramics. This makes this particular brand different from others, which use layered ceramics.  MAC Veneers are also widely preferred by celebrities and athletes alike. This mainly due to the realistic and translucent appearance it creates, which it owes to how it’s able to add colors from the inside out using as many as 16 hues.
  • Da Vince Veneers – Fabricated at the Da Vince Laboratory in California, Da Vince Veneers are very thin and as a result are rarely noticeable. The brand has been around for over 25 hours and is the brand of choice in Extreme Makeover, a television program from ABC where individuals are given the chance to receive an all-expensive paid Hollywood makeover treatment.
  • Lumineers – This particular brand of veneers is made from a special patented cerinate porcelain that is both very durable and at the same time, very thin. It is so thin that it’s been compared to contact lenses. Lumineers are widely considered as the brand of choice for patients who’re looking to attain that “bright, Hollywood smile”.

As the consumer, it’s best that you do not get fixated on pursuing a single, particular brand. This is because there’s not a single brand that stands out from the others, as each one carries its own set of advantages and disadvantages. When it comes to veneers, it’s best to listen to the assessment of your cosmetic dentist about what will benefit your esthetic goals best and what the best course of action is for long-lasting results.

If you would like more information on these different types of veneers, contact Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beach Grove, Wynndale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple and Warren Park.

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

Bad Breath: A Social Faux Pas | Indianapolis Dentist

Fresh Breath

We all want to maintain fresh breath throughout the day but if we don’t have a toothbrush at our disposal how do we accomplish that? Nobody wants to hear, “You have bad breath.” It should come as no surprise, the main way to keeping your smile pretty is to brush and floss every day. In fact, some of us go so far as to do it after each and every meal. I personally find it to be incredibly difficult to keep up with doing so after every meal, but a couple times a day was definitely doable, especially with my mom’s constant reminders. What I didn’t know was that we are naturally given a tooth decaying weapon to fight against cavities & gum disease – saliva.

I know it seems difficult to believe but the answer is already hanging out inside your mouth. You see, tooth decay happens when bacteria feed off of the sugars we are consuming through food and drink. This plaque latches on to your teeth and begins to eat through the enamel on your teeth. So this makes sense to brush after every meal. There leaves less time for this oral menace to do a whole lot of damage. But even more than that, when the saliva glands are activated in our mouths, it naturally helps rinse off the bacteria.

How do we activate this handy dental friend? Chewing. Every meal you eat, every snack you nosh on, every piece of bubble gum you chew is all creating saliva to help fight against germs and bad breath. But keep in mind, it takes 20 minutes for sugar to be cleared from your mouth after its consumption. The more often you are chewing on something sugary, the more often you are exposing your teeth to more bacteria. Try to keep your munchies less sugary and a lot healthier. Sugar-free gum & candy is great, but so is a handy bottle of water. Keeping a nice balance will not only get those salivary glands working, but will also help out the cause when you don’t have a toothbrush handy.

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. Drinking milk can even help deodorize some offensive breath odors. Avoid sugary drinks!
  • Don’t drink too much coffee. It may be tasty, but coffee is a tough smell to get off the back of your tongue.
  • Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products. Cigarettes, pipes, and snuff can foul your breath. Smoking gives people horrible breath!
  • Cut back on alcohol. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth. Too much beer, wine, and hard liquor can make your breath reek for up to eight to 10 hours after you finish drinking.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Doing so 20 minutes after a meal can help with saliva flow. Gum that’s 100% xylitol-sweetened can help reduce cavities.

For more information 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.

The Terrible Ten Smile Saboteurs | Indianapolis Dentist

Beautiful smile with withe teethThere are lots of reasons our teeth may not be the brightest at all times. We go to the dentist for regular cleanings, but in the end, they always seem to go back to the way they were. But why? What are we doing to make our smile dingy or flawed? A lot of times, it isn’t how well we clean our chompers. In many cases, discolored or damaged teeth are the result of our own bad habits, says Indianapolis dentist George Kirtley; other problems are caused by chemicals that entered teeth during childhood. The way we eat,what we put into our mouths, even habits you don’t realize you’ve picked up, like biting your pencil, can all do small damages to our teeth. The biggest offenders he sees in Indianapolis:

  • Drinking tea. Hot or cold, tea stains teeth more than any other kind of drink.
  • Smoking, because tobacco yellows teeth.
  • Drinking coffee; it stains the teeth.
  • Drinking red wine; it stains the teeth.
  • Consuming too many soft drinks, which leave sugars on teeth that can create cavities.
  • Eating highly acidic foods, including starchy snacks such as potato chips and tortilla chips. They can drive enamel-busting acids deep into teeth, breaking the teeth down.
  • Ingesting too much fluoride during childhood, which can actually damage teeth.
  • Treating childhood diseases with antibiotics, such as Tetracycline, that can discolor teeth.
  • Chewing ice or your nails; it cracks teeth.
  • Grinding teeth; habitual grinding damages teeth.

For more information on habits that can cause damage to your smile 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.