Tag Archives: Cosmetic Dentist

Why Are My Teeth Turning Yellow? | Indianapolis Dentist

teeth whiteningYou have all the tools you need to keep your smile bright and shiny, but for some reason the brilliant white in your teeth has begun to fade. How is this happening? Isn’t brushing the main reason our teeth stay white? The answer is yes…and no. Yes, daily dental hygiene is the way you need to keep your dental health intact. But your teeth can also begin to change because of other factors, like your diet. When you keep a certain diet regularly, the outer layers of your teeth get stained over the years. When these outside sources of staining are left to sit on the teeth until your next brushing, the dentin on your teeth becomes yellowish or darkened. 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

So, now that we know what causes our teeth to become dingy looking, how do we prevent this from happening? The best way to help your stained discolored teeth is professional tooth whitening. But in between these treatments, keeping your daily dental hygiene up by brushing with a toothpaste with whitening agents at least twice a day. If a toothbrush isn’t available at the time, rinse your mouth with water several times a day with water. Sound too easy? It really is.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

What You Need to Know About Gum Contouring | Indianapolis Dentist

We all desire an exceptional smile – the kind of smile that brightens a room. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t lucky enough to have such a fantastic set of dental circumstances. But when you think of that perfect smile, what do you think of? Most patients focus on bright, white, straight teeth. However, many patients realize that there’s another component as well – your gums.

Some patients may have gums that are too high, and others have gums that are too low. The causes vary – genetics plays a part, but certain prescription drugs can cause gums that cover more of your teeth than normal, and activities such as smoking can cause gum recession, causing your teeth to look longer than expected.

Gum contouring is typically considered a cosmetic procedure – most insurance plans do not consider it medically necessary and will not cover the costs. However, it is becoming more readily available in many of today’s dental and periodontal offices. For severe cases of gum recession, exposed tooth roots can cause gum contouring to be considered a medical necessity, as the receding tissue can contribute to long term problems such as tooth decay and tooth loss.

The procedure can be done with traditional surgical techniques or lasers – ask your dentist to determine which they recommend. In many cases, local anesthesia is sufficient, though general anesthesia may be considered for larger procedures. The recovery is typically straightforward – there is some bleeding and swelling expected, but generally the soreness will subside within a week.

How does the process work?  Watch this video to see gum contouring take place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfZwanwhtxA

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

Don’t Ruin Your Dental Implants with Proper Care | Indianapolis Dentist

When we have the chance to improve your smile with dental implants, you will need to realize that while they are made to be quite resilient, you need to take care of them just as much as you do your own teeth. Don’t fret – it isn’t going to be an overhaul of your life. In fact, you may not even notice a difference at all. While you will be given instructions regarding aftercare and upkeep, here is a quick rundown of what you can expect to hear:

Brush and floss twice a day. Just like your regular teeth, implants need to be cleaned and flossed to prevent food particles from invading your gums and implant structure.

Say no to staining. Dental implants can stain the same as normal teeth. Steer clear of smoking, coffee, tea, sodas and wine. Don’t feel you need to avoid them completely – moderation is key.

Mouthwash. Special germicidal mouthwash is often prescribed by dentists for patients with dental implants. It helps reduce the risk of infection.

Dental visits twice a year. Regular dental visits are a part of normal dental hygiene but is especially true for people with dental implants. Your dental implants will need a thorough cleaning and plaque removal to continue to keep their brightness. Along with the cleaning, the condition of your gums, jaw and anchors will be checked.

Caring for restorations is just like caring for your natural teeth. You’ve gone through the process of getting the dental implant – maintain them for a smile that lasts a lifetime.

Visit Great Lakes Family Dental today and schedule an appointment to find out what kind of treatment your teeth needs to be healthier and to look better.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Great Lakes Family Dental proudly serves Indianapolis and all surrounding areas.

The Five Types of Cosmetic Dental Procedures

cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry is what’s often used to refer to mostly elective dental work done to improve the appearance of one’s smile. However, even though cosmetic dental procedures primarily focus on aesthetics, the treatment can also provide certain functional and restorative benefits.

The different types of cosmetic dental procedures can range from simple, single-visit treatments to more complex and involved treatments.

  1. Inlays and Onlays – Also referred to as indirect fillings, these are made in a dental laboratory using composite resin material and are attached to the teeth by dentists using adhesive dental cement. These are used to treat and strengthen the structural integrity of teeth, restore their natural shape and avoid any further damage from mild to moderate decay, especially when a tooth can no longer support a filling. Inlays are placed directly onto the tooth’s surface if the tooth cusps are not damaged. However, when there’s too much damage to the tooth’s cusp or the tooth itself, onlays are instead used to cover its entire surface.
  1. Composite Bonding – Composite bonding refers to the cosmetic dental technique that utilizes dental material resembling the color of tooth enamel to restore the appearance of discolored teeth. Dentists can also use the same material to repair badly damaged or decayed teeth. Also referred to as bonding, the technique is capable of covering much of the damage to the tooth and make it look as good as new. Cheap and very effective, bonding is one of the best treatment methods available for those with decayed, chipped, cracked or worn-out teeth.
  1. Dental Veneers – Made from medical-grade ceramic, dental veneers are custom made dental appliances that perfectly resembles a patient’s natural teeth. It is very hard to tell dental veneers from the real thing and it can be used to treat various aesthetic issues, including crooked and cracked teeth, damaged enamel and even tooth gaps.
  1. Teeth Whitening – Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that aims to restore the teeth to their natural appearance, or in some cases, make them look a shade lighter than they originally do. This is often only recommended for teeth that have been rid of plaque, tartar and other debris via other non-cosmetic and conventional dental procedures.
  1. Dental Implants – Used to replace teeth after tooth loss, dental implants are inserted into the jaw at the site of the missing tooth via a small titanium screw. Then, it is given time to heal and fuse with the bone to make sure that they’re permanently secured in place. Unlike other cosmetic dental procedures, dental implants are used mainly for their functional and health benefits.

Make an appointment today to get a beautiful smile by calling 317-841-1111. Or visit the website at www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Home Teeth Whitening Vs In-Office Teeth Whitening

 

You can bring the shine back on your smile by going to the dentist for an in-office teeth whitening treatment. Or, you can buy over-the-counter whitening products and so at home.

If you’re interested in brightening up your smile, it’s important you take note of each method’s pros and cons.

 

Home Teeth Whitening

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, over-the-counter products can help you get whiter teeth, which includes:

  • Whitening rinses are very easy to use, as all you need to do is swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds. Don’t take too long, just swish it enough to make sure that the whitening agent in the product makes contact with your teeth. Then after, spit out. Although the results are not instant, your choppers will get brighter eventually with continued use. Using rinses regularly can also help prevent new stains from forming.
  • Whitening toothpaste contains ingredients that remove surface stains with regular brushing. Make sure that you brush gently. Remember, brushing aggressively won’t make the toothpaste more effective and will only wear out tooth enamel, causing tooth sensitivity and various oral problems. Speaking of tooth sensitivity, prolonged use of whitening toothpaste have been known to cause sensitive teeth.
  • Whitening gels are very convenient to use as you just need to put them on your teeth once a day for around two hours. And, depending on how strong the product is, you may need to wear them for as long as a month, or for just 10 days.
  • Whitening strips are also very easy to apply, but sometimes very confusing because it can be hard to tell which one of the strip is for the front teeth and which is for the bottom teeth. On average, you can expect to see results in 7 days.
  • Whitening trays fit over your teeth and filled with gel. They work extremely fast, but have been known to rub and irritate gums. It’s best to be careful and follow the directions on the package properly when using whitening trays.

In-Office Teeth Whitening

A very common in-office teeth whitening procedure don’t really occur in the office. Rather, it’s done at home, but with the supervision of the dentist. It involves using whitening trays, but instead of over-the-counter ones, custom-made trays filled with stronger bleaching solution are used. And, because the dentist supervises the procedure and the trays are custom-made, the results come faster and irritation is minimized.

Another in-office whitening procedure involves applying a powerful whitening gel on your teeth and using a specialized light or laser to activate the gel and make the process go a whole lot faster. Depending on just how badly colored your teeth are, your teeth may already be white after just one visit or you may need to go back a few more times.

You can also consult your dentist about laser teeth whitening, as well as other in-office whitening procedures.

It’s up to you whether you go to the dentist’s office or buy over-the-counter products to whiten your teeth. But, what’s important is you don’t forget to make the necessary lifestyle changes to help keep your teeth white and healthy. This includes brushing your teeth regularly, flossing and avoiding smoking. It will also help to avoid certain types of food and beverages that are notorious for causing stains, such as coffee, tea, white and sports drinks.

For the brightest, whitest smile, call Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment 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.

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.

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.