Tag Archives: Dr. George Kirtley Indianapolis Indiana

What to Expect on a Visit to the Dentist | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Woman having teeth examined at dentistsMost dentists recommend you visit their offices every 6 months for a professional cleaning, and during those visits it’s common for patients and dentists to learn more about each other, know what to expect, and have an idea for how the visit will unfold. But it’s also common for patients to move, change insurance, or otherwise visit a dentist for the first time, and knowing what to expect on that first visit can cause some mild patient anxiety.

The first thing most dentists will do when for a patient’s first visit is conduct x-rays. The x-rays not only provide a current glimpse at the state of the patient’s oral health, but they offer a glimpse at the patient’s dental history. Fillings, crowns, bridges and implants will be plainly visible, as well as any existing problems such as untreated decay.

As the dentist reviews the x-rays, it’s likely that the dentist will discuss your dental history – what problems has the patient had? What prompted the visit? What concerns does the patient have?

Based on the result of the x-rays, it’s likely that the dentist will determine that certain teeth need attention (perhaps a cavity needs to be filled), or that a general professional cleaning is needed, or perhaps that the patient is generally in good oral health. Depending on the time allotted for the visit, the dentist may be able to address his recommendations at that time, or may ask that the patient make a follow-up appointment.

If serious problems are discovered, it’s not unusual for dentists to refer patients to other specialists. Some dentists will refer patients needing root canals to an Endodontist, and patients needing corrective braces to an Orthodontist. This allows the dentist to focus on the patient’s general overall oral health, and leave the specialized procedures to experts in those fields.

If you’ll be visiting a new dentist for the first time, you should now have a pretty good idea of what to expect. If you’re still unsure, or if you have any questions, call the dentist’s office – they’ll be more than happy to walk you through the plans, and give you more details about what to expect on your first visit.

For more information on our dental services 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.

 

The Detrimental Effects of Sleep Loss | Indianapolis, IN

The following article written by the Huffington Post clearly describes just how important sleep is for your body and health. If you are plagued with sleep loss you may be suffering from a sleep disorder. Don’t put your health at risk. Call for an appointment today with George Kirtley DDS at 317-841-1111 and get the help you need.

Here’s A Horrifying Picture Of What Sleep Loss Will Do To You

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/08/sleep-deprivation_n_4557142.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

 If you don’t snooze, you lose. Skimping on sleep can wreak havoc from head to toe. In fact, one study published last year showed that just one week of sleeping fewer than six hours a night resulted in changes to more than 700 genes. That’s alarming news, considering nearly half of Americans don’t bank the recommended seven or more hours of shut-eye a night, according to a recent survey. Read on for the nightmare-inducing truth about what could be happening to your body when you don’t get enough sleep, starting the very first night.

After one night you’re…

hungrier and apt to eat more. Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with a propensity to load up on bigger portions, a preference for high-calorie, high-carb foods and a greater likelihood of choosing unhealthy foods while grocery shopping.

more likely to have an accident. Getting six or fewer hours of shut-eye a night triples your risk of drowsy driving-related accidents, according to the National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsydriving.org. Plus, just one bad night’s sleep can affect a driver’s eye-steering coordination, according to research from Manchester Metropolitan University. And sleep deprivation can just make you generally more clumsy, whether you’re behind the wheel or not, reports Prevention.

not looking your best — or your most approachable. Beauty sleep is legit. A small study published last year in the journal SLEEP found that sleep deprived study participants were rated as less attractive and sadder, HuffPost reported at the time. A different study from the Medical Institutet Karolinska in Stockholm, Sweden found that exhausted people are also judged to be less approachable. And the problem only gets worse over time: Researchers have linked chronic sleep deprivation with skin aging.

more likely to catch a cold. Proper rest is one of the building blocks of a healthy immune system. In fact, one Carnegie Mellon University study found that sleeping fewer than seven hours a night was associated with a tripled risk of coming down with a cold. What’s more, the Mayo Clinic explains:

During sleep, your immune system releases proteins called cytokines, some of which help promote sleep. Certain cytokines need to increase when you have an infection or inflammation, or when you’re under stress. Sleep deprivation may decrease production of these protective cytokines. In addition, infection-fighting antibodies and cells are reduced during periods when you don’t get enough sleep.

losing brain tissue. A small, recent study of 15 men, published in the journal SLEEP, found that just one night of sleep deprivation was linked with signs of brain tissue loss, measured by blood levels of two brain molecules that usually increase after brain damage.

more likely to get emotional. One 2007 study from researchers at the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Medical School used functioning Magnetic Resonance Imaging to show that after sleep deprivation, the brain’s emotional centers were more more than 60 percent more reactive. “It’s almost as though, without sleep, the brain had reverted back to more primitive patterns of activity, in that it was unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce controlled, appropriate responses,” senior author Matthew Walker, director of UC Berkeley’s Sleep and Neuroimaging Laboratory, said in a statement. “Emotionally, you’re not on a level playing field.”

less focused and having memory problems. Being exhausted zaps your focus, and can render you more forgetful (no wonder you keep misplacing your cell phone after a bad night between the sheets). On top of that, sleep is thought to be involved in the process of memory consolidation, according to Harvard, which means shortchanging it can make it more difficult to learn and retain new things.

To read the full article at Huffington Post click here.

 

The Benefits of Gum Chewing | Indianapolis Dentist

close up smile red lipstickMillions of Americans chew gum. Of course some gum options can be detrimental to teeth, but did you know others can be highly beneficial? We may chew gum to distract from a bad habit, for the taste of ‘sweetness’, or to freshen our breath. The act of chewing and chewing the right kind of gum is what we’re going to focus on.

The physical act of chewing increases the flow of saliva in your mouth. If you chew after eating, the increased salivary flow can help neutralize and wash away the acids that are produced when food is broken down by the bacteria in plaque on your teeth. In fact, clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.

While simply chewing gum is a great way to protect your teeth after a meal out, it’s not typically a replacement for brushing and flossing – given the opportunity, it’s always best to brush and floss, but if you’re not at home, sugar free gum is a great second option. Unfortunately, chewing gum is not recommended for all patients – patients with jaw pain or known problems with their jaw / temporomandibular joint should avoid chewing gum until they consult with their regular dentist. For everyone else, finding a favorite sugar free gum sweetened with Xylitol is an easy way to keep your teeth healthy no matter where you are.

It’s important to note that not all gum is created equally: it’s important to chew sugarless gum, and if possible, choose gum sweetened with Xylitol. Tooth decay starts when bacteria in your mouth consumes sugar – whether it’s in a sugary drink such as cola or ice cream from dessert, the sugar stays within your mouth and attaches to the surface of your teeth. When that sugar is allowed to stay in contact with your teeth, it provides an opportunity for decay to set in as bacteria has food to grow and multiply within your mouth. When you chew gum, the additional saliva neutralizes oral acids and flushes sugar away from the teeth, starving bacteria and protecting your teeth from cavities. Xylitol – a sugar alcohol popular in low-calorie foods – not only provides the sweetness that gum chewers may enjoy without adding sugar, the chemical itself neutralizes bacteria known to cause cavities.

Next time you go to reach for that gum, make sure it’s sugar-free and definitely make sure it’s sweetened with Xylitol!

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 Gum Contouring for You? | Indianapolis Densist

Close-up of dental tools

We all desire an exceptional smile. When our patients think of a perfect smile, they focus on bright, white, straight teeth. However, many patients realize that there’s another component as well: great looking 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 available from many 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

At the end of the procedure, the patient can look forward to a gum line that is both healthy and cosmetically appealing.

If you think gum contouring is for you contact Dr. Kirtleys office today.

For more information on gum contouring 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.

The Benefits of Mouthrinse | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Healthy teeth conceptWe all want to optimize our oral health but what can we do in our daily oral routine at home that will give your mouth an added layer of protection? Mouthrinse!

Who doesn’t love that minty fresh feeling you get after rinsing with mouthwash? But mouthwash can do more than just give your breath a boost. Mouthwash can help keep your gums and teeth healthy—but only if you use them properly. The benefits from using a mouthwash depend largely on the type of product used. Mouthwash can be classified as cosmetic or therapeutic. Rinsing with a cosmetic mouthwash will loosen bits of food from your teeth, lessen bacteria in your mouth, temporarily reduce bad breath and leave a refreshing taste in your mouth. But these products can’t make any greater claim than that.

Mouthwash can cut back the level of bacteria in your mouth. Of course, you still have to brush and floss your teeth regularly and combined will do a much better job of removing plaque and debris. Research shows that adding a rinse with mouthwash to your oral care routine can in fact improve the overall cleanliness of your mouth and help keep gum inflammation at bay.

Gargling and rinsing for a few seconds doesn’t quite cut it.  Most mouthwashes are at their most effective when in contact with your mouth tissues for 30 seconds per use. That proves to be quite tasking for most of us, some people say mouthwash is so strong that it’s difficult to use for that long. Still, it’s worth toughing it out if you want the best results. Did you know it’s also a good cleaning agent for mouth guards?

Did you know that rinsing daily with certain mouthwashes can improve your oral health. We’re talking whitening your teeth, helping to prevent gum disease and fighting plaque!

What are the benefits of swishing daily with an oral rinse?

1)     Freshens breath – First and most obviously, mouthwash temporarily reduces bad breath. Mouthwash kills bacteria associated with causing bad breath leaving you with minty fresh breath.

2)     Prevents Plaque build-up – Various mouthwashes help prevent plaque build up on your gums, in-between teeth, and on the surface of your teeth. Although it prevents the build up of plague, it cannot reduce the plaque that already exists on your teeth.

3)     Removes particles – Most people use mouthwash only after brushing. This is a perfectly fine practice, but used before before brushing to rinse out loose particles in your mouth will make the brushing and flossing more effective.

4)     Stop cavities from forming – Regular use of mouthwash before and after you brush and floss, you can reduce the chances of cavities forming. Mouthwashes that contain fluoride can prevent cavities and strengthen your enamel. Remember, not all mouthwashes contain fluoride(Source: WebMD).

Mouthwash is not a substitute for brushing and flossing and should be used along with good oral health habits. It only takes a moment to rinse but the positive impact on your oral health is much greater. With rinsing daily you can successfully navigate around dental problems.

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 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.

Sensitive Teeth Solutions | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

459953231If you’ve been experiencing jarring sharp pain when you eat or drink hot or even cold foods, or even surprisingly during your oral care routine; you know it’s not something to ignore but what is it? Chances are you’re experiencing sensitive teeth. Luckily this is very treatable.

What causes a tooth or teeth to become sensitive? Well, there are a variety of answers here. As we age, so do our teeth. With age the enamel on your teeth can wear, leaving your tooth roots exposed. This os course can cause those jolting pains with tempered food and drink or even if cold air hits the tooth. This is the most likely case or why you’re experiencing the tooth pain. But there can be other reasons, such as:

  • Over-brushing
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Teeth grinding
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth whitening

Dr. Kirtley has a solution for all of the above conditions. Depending on the cause and severity of your sensitivity, you will benefit from professional treatment. There are a variety of treatments from simple solutions to oral surgery.

Sensitive teeth solutions include:

  • Desensitizing toothpaste
  • Desensitizing or bonding
  • Surgical gum graft
  • Root canal

See your dentist at the first sign of sensitivity.  Often beginning problems can be easily treated.  If you wait to get treatment, you often end up with a bigger problem that is more difficult to treat.  Many times sensitive teeth can be treated with a good cleaning and use of a special toothpaste. Dr. Kirtley will find the right solution to prevent sensitive teeth from recurring.

For more information on your sensitive teeeth 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.

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