Tag Archives: Indianapolis Dentist

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.

Why Are My Canine Teeth Pointed?

Having pointed canine teeth, sometimes referred to as ‘vampire teeth’, doesn’t always pose a threat to your dental health. The same probably can’t be said for your self-esteem and confidence. Although, if it’s any consolation, you’re not exactly alone. Many who were born with extremely sharp and pointy canine teeth also face the same dilemma every day.

Why Canine Teeth Are Sometimes Pointed

The canine teeth are the four teeth that are often pointy, resembling that of dogs. There are two on the top teeth and another two on the bottom. Their main purpose is to help us hold and tear food, which is why they are pointy in nature. However, some people have canines that appear much ‘sharper’ or pointier than others. Although usually not dangerous, some find it uncomfortable that their canine teeth are pointier compared to others.

What You Can Do About It

Those who’re embarrassed of their ‘extra-pointy’ canine teeth can turn to cosmetic dentistry for help.

Tooth recontouring, also known as tooth reshaping, is a procedure that’s used to change the shape, length, or surface appearance of teeth. It’s also used in helping fix crooked and chipped teeth. Also, as you can guess right now, the procedure can also help fix ‘vampire teeth’.

The solution is rather simple and straightforward. Better yet, it often shows instant results. In fact, the procedure typically only requires a single visit and three at the most.

What happens during the procedure is that the dentist simply sands away any extra enamel that’s making you conscious about how your pointy teeth look. The dentist does this as carefully as possible, to make sure that only millimeters of enamel is removed. The change is usually evident after just one session.

If necessary, your dentist will recommend an additional procedure – dental bonding. The said procedure uses tooth-colored material to sculpt and reshape the tooth. Although optional, the procedure may be necessary for the results you want.

The Benefits of Tooth Recontouring

Of course, you should be able to smile more often now that you’re no longer worried about how having ‘extra-pointy’ canine teeth. This does wonders for your self-esteem and confidence. However, that’s not all. The ‘extra long’ canine teeth can sometimes be a breeding ground for bacteria and tartar. By having them removed or filed, you’re greatly reducing your chances of having tooth decay or gum disease anytime soon.

Besides, it’s not like the procedure is anything drastic or invasive. It’s also generally painless. The treatment doesn’t even require anesthesia most of the time, so there’s really little reason for you NOT to consider having your vampire teeth reshaped.

Vampire Teeth No More

If you’ve been extra conscious about smiling just because of those pointy teeth of yours, then tooth reshaping and dental bonding could very well be the right treatment for you.

So, what are waiting for? Visit the office of Dr. George Kirtley to discuss your smile goals, and learn the best course of treatment for your case. Who knows, you could soon be walking around and beaming the smile that you’ve always wanted!

Call today 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.

Why Are Dental Implants The Best Option For a Missing Tooth?

dental implants

Most people who’ve lost a tooth often consider dental implants as the last restorative dental treatment they’d opt for. It’s not uncommon for people to believe that they’re just worth the money and hassle, as the procedure is often believed to be “extremely risky”, on top of being expensive.

While it’s true that dental implants are expensive, they are most definitely worth the money and hassle.

Below are three good reasons to convince you why dental implants are the best option for a missing tooth:

  1. It looks and feel like your natural tooth.

As far as restorative dental treatment goes, the only thing better than a dental implant is your natural tooth. To be exact, a dental implant + prosthetic tooth is the only treatment capable of giving your teeth full functionality back again, as if you hadn’t lost a tooth at all.

Dental implants are titanium rods that are surgically inserted into your jaws. Once the jaw bones have had enough time to heal, it’s able to act like a tooth root, which helps strengthen your jaws and provide a stable and durable root for the prosthetic tooth.

Healing can take as much as 6 months, after which the dentist attaches a post to the implant, which is where the prosthetic tooth will be attached to.

  1. Your smile remains as beautiful as ever.

Because dental implants mimic the full functionality of your natural tooth, it’s also the best treatment of choice for maintaining the beauty of your smile.

Both the titanium implant and prosthetic tooth does wonders in helping maintain bite function, jaw bone density and even the health of the surrounding teeth. Just to remind you, failing to replace missing teeth will cause the surrounding teeth to try to twist and cover the gap, which will only lead to worse dental problems in the future. With dental implants, such problems can be avoided.

Even better is that the prosthetic tooth can be color-matched to the rest of your teeth so it will fit in seamlessly and give you back the beautiful smile that you’ve always had.

  1. It is a permanent solution to tooth loss.

While it is true that the prosthetic tooth can only look for a decade or so, the dental implants can go on much longer, forever even.

Also, because they are very durable, looking after a dental implant is not that big of a hassle. In a way, it not only is a permanent solution to tooth loss, but also a cost-effective long-term treatment at that.

To take proper care of dental implants, you only need to take good care of your teeth and gums, which isn’t really that hard. More so when you compare it to have to remove your dentures and using a soft brush to clean them carefully before putting them back in.

For more information on dental implants or to make an appointment, call Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit the website www.smilesbygeorge.com.

Can Periodontal Disease Be Cured?

periodontal disease

Healthy gums are firm and pale pink. If they’re puffy or red and bleed much more easily, then it is possible that you’re suffering from gingivitis, the most common form of periodontal disease. Although seldom painful, gingivitis shouldn’t be taken lightly. If left unchecked, gingivitis can spread to the ligaments and bones below the gums, becoming what’s known as periodontitis.

Without treatment, periodontitis can wreak serious damage on your teeth and gums, to the point that the infection causes a very painful tooth abscess and even make your tooth become loose and fall out.

Given how serious periodontal disease is, one might ask, can it be cured?

Treatable, But Not Curable

There are generally just two types of periodontal disease – gingivitis and periodontitis. Of the two, the former is a mild form and it is treatable with proper dental treatment in the dental office and good oral care at home. However, there is no cure anymore once gingivitis progresses to periodontitis.

Patients who develop severe periodontal disease, or periodontitis, will require extensive treatment at the dental office. This usually involves a special cleaning to remove plaque and tartar deposits on the tooth and root surfaces called scaling and root planning, or sometimes referred to as deep cleaning. Medication to help control the infection and pain, as well as to aid the healing process are also necessary. Other treatments may also be involved as well, especially if some, if not all, of the teeth have been severely infected, or in worse cases, have fallen out already.

The extensive treatment process can take months. It’s also quite expensive as well, especially if you don’t have dental insurance. Even worse, once you’ve had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend you more frequent dental checkups. This is because periodontitis is something that can’t be cured, it can only be managed and kept under control via regular dental visits, deep cleanings and by practicing good oral hygiene at home.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

As complicated and as severe as periodontal disease is, you don’t necessarily have to suffer from it. Gingivitis can easily be prevented by following a program of good dental hygiene, one that begins at home and at an early age.

A good dental hygiene routine to follow is to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. It would be an even better idea to brush your teeth after every meal. Brushing alone, though, isn’t enough, as you have to make sure that you do it effectively and thoroughly. It’s recommended that you take at least three to five minutes to brush and floss your teeth. Also, remember to floss first before brushing to help clean away any loose food particles and bacteria that may be lodged in between your teeth.

Most important of all, don’t forget to see your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups. Although the frequency may vary, dentists do recommend getting a dental checkup as often as every six months to one year. Call today to schedule your checkup with Dr. George Kirtley at 317-841-1111.

How Dental Implants Can Save Your Smile | Indianapolis Dentist

lots of smilesMany patients put off going to the dentist. Whether they’re afraid of the pain, the noise of the procedures or the monetary cost of dental work, putting off dental visits can turn small problems into larger ones. Left long enough and your teeth can be lost due to decay, infection, or physical problems like cracking.

For the most severe dental problems, one of the common treatments is the dental implant. Where fillings remove small areas of decay with a synthetic substance and crowns place a cap over an existing tooth root, implants replace the entire tooth – root and all. The process is involved, but done properly, a tooth implant can last many decades, potentially even a lifetime.

The procedure starts by removing the existing tooth and root, and placing a titanium implant post into the patient’s jawbone. This metal post is the foundation for the entire implant, and it should be allowed to heal for 6-12 weeks, as the bone forms a permanent bond with the metal post. Once firmly bonded, the dentist will attach a second metal connector – known as an abutment – to the post, which provides a connecting surface for the replacement tooth. The dentist will then make impressions, modeling the entire mouth so that the replacement crown perfectly matches your existing bite. Finally, the crown will be attached permanently to the abutment, providing a solid, permanent tooth

While there may be some pain in the initial extraction, the rest of the procedure can typically be done under local anesthesia (such as Novocain). The procedure does take a few months to allow the post to properly bond to the jawbone, but once complete, the patient will have a natural looking, durable, convenient replacement for even the most severely damaged teeth.

For more information on dental implants and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

The Terrible Ten Smile Saboteurs | Indianapolis Dentist

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

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

For more information on habits that can cause damage to your smile and/or to make an appointment, call Dr. Kirtley at 317-841-1111 or visit his website smilesbygeorge.com.

Dr. George Kirtley proudly serves patients from Indianapolis, Spring Hill, Beech Grove, Wynnedale, Speedway, Rocky Ripple, Warren Park and all surrounding areas.

Smile Makeovers: Are They for You?

479328903Modern cosmetic dentistry has advanced to the point where we can completely overhaul our smile, sometimes in as little as one visit. But nowadays, cosmetic dentistry isn’t just for celebrities and the wealthy. Now there are a wide variety of options and price ranges, putting a fantastic smile within reach for many patients.

Traditional dentistry addresses the health of your teeth and gums, while cosmetic dentistry focuses on their appearance. From subtle changes to major oral surgery overhauls, there are a variety of cosmetic dentistry procedures that can get a smile looking good as new, whether they are discolored, misshapen, chipped or missing.

So is cosmetic dentistry right for you? Let’s take a look at the various procedures possible:

Teeth whitening: Everyone’s teeth get discolored or stained from time to time. Our diet is filled with food that does the damage. Teeth whitening, or bleaching, can be done in a dentist’s office or at home with a system dispensed by the dentist.

Bonding: Life is full of accidental mishaps, sometimes those mishaps mess up our teeth. Bonding can improve the appearance of teeth that are chipped, broken, cracked, stained, or gapped by bonding tooth-colored materials to the tooth surface, making them nearly impossible to distinguish.

Veneers: Another variation of the bonding technique are 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 actual look of your teeth by modifying or removing enamel, completely changing the look of your tooth. Tooth reshaping (also known as dental contouring) is often combined with bonding.

Crown lengthening: Sometimes it isn’t the teeth that are the issue, it’s the gums. This “gummy” smile or an uneven gum line can be fixed by removing excess gum tissue, exposing more of the tooth’s crown to give the appearance of longer teeth.

Smile makeovers: Deciding your smile needs an entire makeover involves 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, but the results will be staggering.

As with all other cosmetic surgeries, your mouth also needs to be in fairly good health in order to have these dental procedures done. Strong healthy teeth are absolutely necessary in order for a cosmetic procedure to work. Many patients think they can walk in with existing problems (cavities, etc.) and walk out with a Hollywood smile. Sadly, that isn’t the case. 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 smile makeovers 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.

Caring for your Implants | Cosmetic Dentist Indianapolis

177406608Receiving a dental implant(s) treatments isn’t the easiest procedure. There are many steps, visits and waiting time to go through the entire process correctly. You’ve put in a lot of time and money in to your new restorative, now how can you ensure they last a lifetime? Once you have your dental implants in place, you want to make sure they are taken care of properly.

Dr. Kirtley also wants to make sure your dental implant(s) are cared for properly as well! We’ve compiled a short list of easy steps to properly care for your new implant(s).

Proper care for your new implant(s):

-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. 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; however this is especially true for people with dental implants. Your dental implants will need a thorough cleaning and plaque removal. 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: brush, floss and maintain regular dental cleanings and check-ups, as scheduled. Easy, right? With proper care, your dental implants can last you a lifetime.

Contact Dr. George Kirtley for an appointment today for more information on implants at 317-841-1111 or generaldentistryindianapolis.com.

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

Dental Extractions | Indianapolis, Il Dentist

skd284147sdcThere’s a classic idiom in the English language that compares unpleasant, difficult tasks to pulling teeth. Known as dental extraction, pulling teeth is recommended in some situations. While it’s certainly true that few people are ever excited about having teeth pulled, dental extractions have come a long way, and the procedure is no longer cause for dread.

Your dentist may recommend extraction for a number of reasons:
– If the tooth is seriously damaged, either due to injury or decay, and can not be saved
– If the tooth to be extracted is a wisdom tooth (third molar), it may cause crowding, alignment problems, pain, or infection
– If the tooth to be extracted is blocking another tooth from coming in
– If the tooth to be extracted is a baby tooth that didn’t fall out in time
– If the tooth to be extracted is causing crowding, a dentist or orthodontist may recommend removing some teeth to allow braces to better adjust the remaining teeth
– If the teeth are infected, or could potentially be an infection source in high risk patients such as those undergoing organ transplants or cancer treatment

Extractions typically fall into one of two classes – simple and surgical. Dentists often perform simple extractions, where oral surgeons often perform surgical extractions. Simple extractions generally involve a single tooth that is visible in the mouth, with clear alignment – after numbing the area with local anesthetic, the tooth will be loosened using an instrument known as an elevator, and then pulled with an instrument known as forceps. For surgical removal, the surgeon may use local anesthetic, moderate sedation, or general anesthesia, and likely use a combination of tools and techniques to remove teeth that may be difficult to see (or still within the gums).

While extractions are very common and generally safe, they do have some risk. The most common complications are dry sockets (where the bone is exposed to air during healing), accidental damage to nearby teeth, and incomplete extractions (where a portion of the tooth remains in the gum). You should talk to your dentist about the risks of these complications.

If your dentist recommends an extraction, it’s likely that you have a potentially serious problem. While it’s unlikely you’ll celebrate the news, you need not fear: there are worse problems to have than pulling teeth.

For more information on tooth extractions 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.