Tag Archives: cosmetic dentist indianapolis

In-Office and Home Teeth Whitening

teeth cleaning

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. This is why it’s important that you invest in them to make sure that they always leave a good, lasting impression.

Chances are, though, that your pearly whites aren’t exactly as white as you’d like them. This may have caused you to become conscious about them and as a result, your self-esteem has suffered because of this.

Now, while white teeth aren’t the only ingredients of a bright and radiant smile, they are one of the most important, which is exactly why you should take the time to learn about teeth whitening treatments.

Teeth Whitening Treatments

Generally, there are two types of teeth whitening treatments – home tooth whitening systems and in-office teeth whitening.

The former is widely considered as more popular because there are plenty of available tooth whitening systems out there that are easy to use and very cheap.

Even without the prescription or the supervision of a dentist, anyone can use over-the-counter teeth whitening products. The most common are paint-on tooth gel, mouth trays, whitening gum and toothpaste, as well as whitening strips.

Safety is very rarely an issue with these products as well, but if you’re having reservations, you can ask your dentist first.

In-office teeth whitening

Less popular compared to home tooth whitening systems, in-office teeth whitening is the preferred whitening method by most dental professionals. This is because these types of treatment are just much more effective and safer too.

Generally falling under the category of cosmetic dentistry, it’s important that you find a certified and experienced cosmetic dentist before you undergo such a treatment. Otherwise, you may just end up wasting your money.

Once you’ve found the right cosmetic dentist, the fun starts.

There are various ways dentists can professionally whiten your teeth, but what’s widely accepted as the most effective is the use of a buffer in the gel, which protects the tooth enamel from any kind of damage. The use of such a gel makes the procedure not only safe, but also very effective and has been known to transform teeth many shades lighter in just a single visit.

As effective as in-office teeth whitening treatments are, it does have its limits.

This type of treatment can only affect the front teeth, usually the eight that are most evident when you smile. But, still, eight much whiter teeth are still better than none at all and is a great way to jump start your whole teeth whitening program, something that you can or, rather, should continue at home.

Have a brighter smile today

While it is impossible for you to have a totally brighter smile immediately, you can at least rejoice in the fact that it will happen, so long as you work at it.

With your cosmetic dentist’s help and proper oral care, as well as the use of dentist recommended home whitening products, not only will you have whiter and better-looking teeth, but they’ll also be much healthier too.

Learn more about teeth whitening today by calling George Kirtley D.D.S. at 317-841-1111. Learn more about Dr. Kirtley by visiting his website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

 

Why Cosmetic Dentists Are Different From Your Average Dentist

close up smile red lipstick

When people hear the word “cosmetic dentists”, most would say that they’re no different from your average dentist or that they mainly dabble and are only interested in the aesthetics of their patient’s smile. Either way, it’s usually one of the two.

Of the two, neither is totally correct. Yes, cosmetic dentists are concerned about the beauty of their patient’s smiles, but they do also treat the same dental problems that your average dentist does.

What makes them different, in particular, is just how they pay attention to the maintenance and improvement of the natural beauty of the smile of their patients.

Take metal composite fillings, for example. The average dentist will usually recommend this particular dental restoration method because it’s been around for centuries already. However, most cosmetic dentists disagree with this.

While gold crowns and dental fillings are quite effective, they’re not particularly safe. Criticism about them containing traces of mercury aside, metal composite fillings tend to expand and contract over time, causing unnecessary damage to the teeth. And, of course, they don’t exactly look all that good.

For cosmetic dentists, porcelain is their material of choice when it comes to repairing any type of damage to their patient’s teeth because they’re malleable, easy to use, safe and most important of all, aesthetically pleasing.

The Key Difference

Cosmetic dentists also treat many of the same dental issues that general dentists deal with, such as:

  • Chipped or damaged teeth.
  • Misaligned bites.
  • Missing and/or decaying teeth.

However, the key difference here is that cosmetic dentists prefer methods that focus on both treating the problem, while at the same time, addressing the aesthetical aspect.

The keyword here is aesthetics.

Cosmetic dentists, unlike general dentists, make it their job to protect both the structural integrity and aesthetics of their patient’s smile. And, while elective, there are many cases where the treatments offered by cosmetic dentists provide much better restorative benefits compared to conventional methods, such as:

The Different Benefits Offered By Cosmetic Dentists

  • Correction of any physical flaws. The procedures preferred by cosmetic dentists can help conceal, as well as correct plenty of dental problems, from misshapen teeth, chips, cracks, unsightly gaps and stains, and so on.

 

  • Improved self-esteem. You yourself would probably agree that the one thing that’s stopping you from smiling more often is that your teeth aren’t exactly something that you’re proud of. Well, cosmetic dentists can help fix that for you so that you can smile away all you want and be prouder of the way you look. This, in turn, can help give your self-esteem a much needed boost.

 

  • Prevention of damages in the future. While most of the procedures are designed to help make teeth look beautiful, they can also affect it positively in other ways. For example, porcelain bonding can help improve the structural integrity of the teeth. Also, cosmetic dentists can cover up hairline fractures or worn edges to not only improve their appearance, but also to prevent further damage to these problem areas.

 

 

If you’re interested in taking your oral care a bit further and focus on improving your smile, be sure to schedule an appointment with George Kirtley DDS at 371-841-1111 today to see how he can transform your smile! To learn more visit our website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

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

 

Is a Dental Implant for You? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

tooth whiteningMany people are living with damaged teeth in form or another. Perhaps you are one of those people? Do you have a cracked tooth, a severe cavity or physical trauma to a tooth, stemming from an accident? With circumstances like these the chances are more than likely that your tooth may not be able to be saved. Modern dentistry has a number of options that look and feel like a natural tooth, and one of the most common solutions for teeth that can’t be saved is the dental implant.

What is a dental implant? A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that is placed into your jaw to hold a replacement tooth or bridge(perio.org), through a combination of procedures that work together to provide a prosthetic tooth for patients. The procedure for installing the implant is straightforward, but takes time.

Implants consist of three primary components:

– A titanium post screwed into the bone of the tooth socket

– A titanium extension post is attached to the screw base and provides a socket for the crown

– A dental crown – often porcelain – is attached to the middle titanium post

Once the damaged tooth is removed, the area will be allowed to heal. Once healed, the post is attached to the bone, and again the mouth is allowed to heal. During this time, a lightweight temporary crown will be placed (often using a retainer) to maintain the patient’s smile and protect the post. After the screw is healed in place, the new permanent crown is attached, and the patient has a new artificial tooth that looks exactly like the tooth it replaced.

Dental implants are a popular choice because they last a very long time, have a high success rate, can be used for treating a wide variety of serious problems, and provide a replacement tooth that is almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth. Dental implants are popular among patients because the implant looks and feels like a tooth, implants do not require special cleaning like bridges, and they do not need to be removed nightly like dentures.

Once the procedure is complete, the resulting implanted tooth will allow you to eat normally, speak normally, and will look and feel just like a natural tooth. The dental implant has a very high success rate. However, there are many variables, especially the timing between each step of the procedure, so be sure to talk to your dentist about specifics before you commit to the procedure.

Properly cared for dental implant can last for decades.  If you have a tooth that is damaged, or if you believe a dental implant may be right for you, ask your dentist about implants.

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 Spring Hill, Beech Grove and Warren Park.

Types of Cosmetic Procedures | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

459899307Are you looking for a perfect smile? Modern dentists have many dental procedures that focus on aesthetics rather than simply oral health. Some cosmetic procedures are superficial, others are significant and involve surgery, but nearly every visible problem is treatable with one or more cosmetic procedures.

Common cosmetic procedures include the following:
– Composite white fillings repair cavities without having silver filling in the mouth. Existing metal fillings can be replaced with modern white resin
– Bonding uses composite resin to help change the size, shape, or color of teeth. Because it attaches to teeth in the same way that composite fillings attach, bonding can be used to fix chips on visible front teeth.
– Teeth that are discolored or stained can be whitened – either in the office or using take-home trays
– Veneers – a thin layer of porcelain on top of the tooth – can be used to change tooth shape, size, or color
– Crowns can be used as a cap on top of teeth damaged by cracks or decay
– Orthodontics – either traditional or Invisalign – can be used to permanently straighten teeth.
– Gum tissue can be surgically altered – either added via grafts to help with recession, or removed to create a more appealing tooth length
– For missing, broken, or severely damaged teeth, full implants can be used to provide a replacement tooth

Because modern dentists have implants as a final catchall, virtually any problem – even major problems involving multiple missing teeth – can be solved given enough time and room in the patient’s budget. However, your dentist will be able to guide you through the process, creating a treatment plan that maps the various procedures and prioritizes them – making sure that the procedures are done in the proper order to maximize their effectiveness. If you have elements of your smile you’d like to change, or if you have questions about particular cosmetic procedures, call your dentist and schedule an appointment – they’ll be happy to explain the procedures, pros, cons, and discuss whether or not you’re a candidate for any various procedure.

Contact Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment today to get the bright white smile you have always wanted at 317-841-1111 or generaldentistryindianapolis.com.

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

Is Sedation Dentistry for You? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

sedation-dentistryAre you one in the millions of Americans considered to have a dental phobia? Maybe you had a bad experience as a child, maybe you just can’t handle people and instruments that close to your face. Whatever it is, you’re definitely not alone. Which is why Dr. Kirtley offers sedation dentistry.

Dental anxiety and phobia are extremely common. It has been estimated that 9% to 15% of Americans avoid seeing the dentist because of anxiety and fear. That’s about 30 million to 40 million people. In a survey by the British Dental Health Foundation, 36% of those who didn’t see a dentist regularly said that fear was the main reason. Dental phobia keeps many people from seeing their dentists for regular check-ups, which could result in poor oral health. The British Dental Health Foundation has found that 1 in 10 people suffer from dental anxiety. Also, women are more likely to suffer from this phobia than men.

The most common fear of visiting the dentist is having a tooth drilled and the local anesthetic injection. People are not born with a fear of the dentist, you develop it and can overcome it. Today dentistry is much different than it used to be. It can be a pain free, anxiety free experience. Relaxation and sedation techniques have been proven in helping overcome dental phobias.

Some of the signs of dental phobia include:

  • You feel tense or have trouble sleeping the night before a dental exam.
  • You get increasingly nervous while you’re in the waiting room.
  • You feel like crying when you think of going to the dentist. The sight of dental instruments — or of white-coated personnel in the dentist’s office — increases your anxiety.
  • The thought of a dental visit makes you feel physically ill.
  • You panic or have trouble breathing when objects are placed in your mouth during a dental appointment(Source: colgate.com).

Dr. George Kirtley offers sedation dentistry for patients with dental phobias and anxiety. For those that are very anxious or if you are undergoing a longer procedure we offer conscious sedation. This treatment uses a combination of medications that put you into a very relaxed dream like state.

Our patients have commented that if they had known how comfortable treatment was under sedation they never would have had any worries about dental treatment. This is such a relaxing procedure that it’s often referred to as sleep dentistry.

If the above describes you, contact Dr. Kirtley for a consultation about what sedation dentistry can offer you.

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

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

Is Cosmetic Dentistry For You? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

selfieIn todays modern times cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point where we can completely overhaul our smile, sometimes in as little as one visit. Now a days cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for celebrities and the wealthy, there’s now a wide variety of options and price ranges that put a better smile within reach for many patients.

Traditional dentistry addresses the health of your teeth and gums, cosmetic dentistry focuses on the appearance of your teeth. From subtle changes to major overhauls with oral surgery, there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can treat teeth that are discolored, misshapen, chipped or missing.

So is cosmetic dentistry right for you?

Below are the most common cosmetic procedures:

Teeth whitening: This procedure brightens teeth that are discolored or stained. Teeth whitening, or bleaching, can be done in a dentist’s office or at home with a system dispensed by the dentist.

Bonding: This can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or have spaces in between them, by bonding tooth-colored materials to the tooth surface.

Veneers: These are thin, custom-made porcelain shells that cover the front of the teeth to disguise discoloration or imperfections.

Tooth reshaping: This procedure changes the teeth to improve their appearance by modifying or removing enamel. Tooth reshaping (also known as dental contouring) is often combined with bonding.

Crown lengthening: This can fix a “gummy” smile or an uneven gum line by removing excess gum tissue to expose more of the tooth’s crown and give the appearance of longer teeth. This involves minor oral surgery.

Smile makeovers: These procedures involve a comprehensive assessment of the overall appearance of the teeth and smile. Typically, several cosmetic dentistry procedures are required to overhaul the look of a patient’s smile. Think of it as a facelift for the mouth(Source: everydayhealth.com).

Of course before having a cosmetic procedure done, your oral health must be in good shape. You need to have strong healthy teeth for a cosmetic procedure to work. Many patients think they can walk in with a existing problems (cavities, etc.) and walk out with a Hollywood smile; not understanding the chain of events that must occur prior to be a good cosmetic candidate.

To determine if you are a good candidate for cosmetic procedures, and to find out which cosmetic procedure will give you the lasting smile you desire, contact Dr. Kirtley today!

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

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

What are Teeth? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

186932212Your teeth outside of your oral care routine are probably not something you think about in depth. Teeth are actually complicated structures.

So we all know the proper care for our teeth, but what IS a tooth? Most of us have 32 teeth – hard, calcified white objects we use to chew, cut, crush, and swallow food.

The visible surface of the tooth is known as enamel. A hard, mineral surface, the enamel is typically light yellow to white in color, but is semi translucent, so the actual color of your tooth is determined by both the enamel and the underlying dentin. Made of a crystalized calcium phosphate known as hydroxyapatite, the enamel is both incredibly strong and incredibly brittle.

While enamel covers to outside of the tooth above the gum line, below the gum line the surface of the tooth is covered in a substance known as cementum. A yellowish substance, it contains less than half of the mineral content as enamel, making it much softer. The primary purpose of cementum is to provide a surface to allow the periodontal ligaments in the gums to hold onto the tooth.

Below the enamel and cementum lies the dentin. Dentin is a combination of mineralized hydroxyapatite, organic material and water, and is both much softer than enamel and much less brittle. However, it’s also more prone to decay, and severe cavities can cause significant dental problems if not treated rapidly.

Finally, within the dentin lies the tooth pulp. The pulp is soft tissue, filled with blood vessels and nerves that provide the tooth with oxygen, nutrients, and also the ability to transmit ‘senses’ such as temperature, pain, and pressure. The pulp also helps to form and repair dentin from within the tooth.

While most people will only see the enamel surface of their teeth, proper dental care will focus on maintaining each layer healthy. By protecting the enamel with proper brushing, and treating cavities formed by decay before they damage the dentin or pulp, dental care will focus on providing a patient with healthy teeth – from pulp to enamel – well into old age.

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

Dental Crowns & Bridges | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

teeth whiteningAre you in need of dental work and wonder what types of options you will have when planning dental procedures. If a tooth has a very large area of decay, can it be saved? What happens if the tooth is cracked through the middle? If the pulp of the tooth can be felt prior to going to the dentist, does that mean the entire tooth needs to be removed?

While the best answer to these questions will come from your dentist, two likely options that will be presented are crowns and bridges.

Dental crowns are often chosen when the original tooth is compromised – either weakened from decay, broken, or otherwise unable to maintain itself without assistance. Dental crowns are custom-made – molded to match your existing tooth and fit your normal bite – out of a variety of strong materials such as steel, resin, and porcelain. Like the name suggests, a crown is a shell that goes on top of the rest of the tooth – like a hat on a head, the crown fits snugly atop the base of the tooth, providing an artificial bite surface that is stronger and harder than the natural tooth.

Unlike dental crowns, dental bridges are used in cases where the underlying tooth can not be saved. Where a crown is affixed to a single tooth to provide strength, a dental bridge is used when the tooth in question must be fully removed. Like a crown, it will be designed by your dentist to match your existing teeth and bite, and then constructed in a lab. Unlike a crown, it will not sit atop a single tooth, but is generally attached to neighboring teeth (usually one tooth on each side of the removed tooth), providing a fake tooth surface where the missing tooth would have been.

While crowns and bridges are typically only presented as options for patients with significant damage to one or more teeth, they are fairly common. Bridges and crowns are typically recommended as necessities, and as such, insurance will likely cover a portion of the cost. With proper care, bridges and crowns can last 5-15 years, or more, and will allow the patient to chew, drink and speak normally for many years.

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

 

Dental Implants | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Many 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 cause small problems to turn into larger problems, and left long enough, entire teeth can be lost due to decay, infection, or physical problems such as 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

The overall process typically involves very little pain – 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 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

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

While some think this is a rare cancer, mouth cancers will be newly diagnosed in about 115 new individuals each day in the US alone, and a person dies from oral cancer every hour of every day. If you add the sub category of laryngeal throat cancers, the rates of occurrence (about 12,000 additional new cases per year) and death are significantly higher. When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis (for all stages and etiologies combined at time of diagnosis), and high treatment related morbidity in survivors. Late stage diagnosis is not occurring because most of these cancers are hard to discover, it is because of a lack of public awareness coupled with the lack of a national program for opportunistic screenings which would yield early discovery by medical and dental professionals. Worldwide the problem is far greater, with new cases annually exceeding 450,000.

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Oral cancer refers to cancer that develops in any of the parts that make up the mouth. Oral cancer is one of several types of cancer grouped in a category called head and neck cancers. Mouth cancer and other head and neck cancers are often treated similarly.

If you notice any of the below changes, contact your dentist or health care professional immediately.

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

The most common symptoms of oral cancer include:

  • Swellings/thickenings, lumps or bumps, rough spots/crusts/or eroded areas on the lips, gums, or other areas inside the mouth
  • The development of velvety white, red, or speckled (white and red) patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal within 2 weeks
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

How Is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?

As part of your routine dental exam, your dentist will conduct an oral cancer screening exam. More specifically, your dentist will feel for any lumps or irregular tissue changes in your neck, head, face, and oral cavity. When examining your mouth, your dentist will look for any sores or discolored tissue as well as check for any signs and symptoms mentioned above.Your dentist may perform an oral brush biopsy if he or she sees tissue in your mouth that looks suspicious. This test is painless and involves taking a small sample of the tissue and analyzing it for abnormal cells. Alternatively, if the tissue looks more suspicious, your dentist may recommend a scalpel biopsy. This procedure usually requires local anesthesia and may be performed by your dentist or a specialist. These tests are necessary to detect oral cancer early, before it has had a chance to progress and spread.

 

See your dentist on a regular schedule. Even though you may be conducting frequent self exams, sometimes dangerous spots or sores in the mouth can be very tiny and difficult to see on your own.

The American Cancer Society recommends oral cancer screening exams every 3 years for persons over age 20 and annually for those over age 40.

During your next dental appointment, ask your dentist to perform an oral exam. Early detection can improve the chance of successful treatment.

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