Tag Archives: cosmetic dentist indianapolis

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

Change your Smile with Veneers! | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

One of the most common techniques your dentists can use to correct the appearance of teeth is veneers. Veneers are thin, custom made shells that are placed on top of existing teeth, fixing discolorations, gaps, chips, and broken teeth. 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 normal procedure typically requires multiple visits – on the first visit, the dentist will inspect the tooth (or teeth) to make sure the patient is a good candidate and verify that veneers will properly fix the problem at hand. During this first visit, the dentist will remove a thin layer of tooth enamel, so that the veneer surface rests even with the rest of the teeth. Once the enamel is removed, the dentist will make a detailed impression of the tooth, and send the impression off to a laboratory for a custom veneer designed to fit the tooth precisely. The dental laboratory can make the veneer using either porcelain or resin, with porcelain veneers providing a more natural shine, and resin veneers requiring less enamel removal.

Once the veneer is created, the patient will return for a second visit. The dentist will continue shaping the veneer, and once the veneer is the right size and shape, the newly crafted veneer will be bonded to the tooth surface with permanent cement. Finally, the dentist will remove excess cement and ensure that the patient’s bite is correct. In many cases, the patient will be asked to return in a few weeks to evaluate the gums and make sure the patients’ gums are reacting well to the new veneer surface. Modern porcelain veneers tend to last many years, are easy to care for (normal brushing and flossing is fine, no special care is required), provide a very natural appearance, and offer a stronger alternative to other cosmetic options.

Change your smile, change your life!

Contact Dr. George Kirtley today about veneers at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com

Dr. Kirtley welcomes patients from Wynnedale, Spring Hill, Speedway and Rocky Ripple.

Easy Steps to Preventing Gum Disease | Indianapolis, IN

If you are a coffee drinker, you need to be extra careful. Coffee can contribute to the buildup of plaque and tartar and accelerate the progression of gum disease.

There are two forms of gum disease: gingivitis, an inflammation of your gums caused by plaque, and periodontitis, a more advanced version of gingivitis that results in a gap between your teeth and your gums. Gum disease, when caught in the gingivitis stage, can be treated and, in the future, prevented. Periodontitis, on the other hand, is more difficult to treat and, due to the gap between the teeth and gums, may cause your teeth to become loose and fall out.

Coffee affects your mouth in two ways. First, it lowers the temperature of your mouth and gums. Second, it reduces the blood flow to your gums. The combination of lowered temperature and restricted blood flow means your gums do not get all of the necessary oxygen they need to continue functioning properly.

Saliva contains oxygen and specialized enzymes which help prevent gum disease by killing the unnecessary bacteria in your mouth. However, drinking coffee can cause dehydration and reduce the amount of saliva you produce, thus increasing your chances of developing gum disease.

For more information on the prevention of dental disease, contact Dr. George Kirtley DDS at 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.

 

 

Yellow, stained teeth ruining your smile? Tooth whitening is the answer! | Indianapolis, IN

Are you tired of having yellow, stained teeth, despite your strict daily dental hygiene? You are not alone. There are millions of people suffering from the same problem. So if you brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly then why are your teeth still discolored? This happens because the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years by consumption of  beverages with caffeine, soda, wine and smoking. When these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth all day until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is professional tooth whitening.

Contributing factors to yellowing, stained teeth:

  • Tetracycline based antibiotics used before the age of 8 years old
  • Excessive exposure to fluoride as a child
  • Internal  bleeding due to trauma
  • Discoloration due to a health condition
  • Natural aging- as time goes by enamel gets thinner and thinner and will get a yellowish hue
  • Soda
  • Wine
  • Smoking
  • Caffeine

Simple rules to live by to try and stop the yellowing process:

  • Visit your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings
  • Rinse your mouth out with water several times throughout the day
  • Use toothpaste with whitening agents

One of the best ways to whiten your teeth is to visit your dentist for professional tooth whitening. You deserve a beautiful white smile. Contact Dr. George Kirtley for more information on tooth whitening and keeping your teeth white and healthy, 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.