Tag Archives: Tooth Decay

Is a Dental Implant for You? | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

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

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

Implants consist of three primary components:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dental Sealants | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Woman having teeth examined at dentistsTooth decay is likely to occur when food particles sit in the depressions, nooks, and crannies in and between teeth, allowing bacterial colonies to form, creating acid that eats holes into teeth. While brushing and flossing will do a reasonably good job of removing food particles from the depressions in teeth, dental sealants are a procedure used by dentists to help prevent accumulation of food in the depressions of teeth in the first place.

Dental sealants are a thin plastic coating painted onto the chewing surfaces of teeth – typically molars or premolars – to help keep food from settling within the bite surface. Dental sealants bond to the bite surface, providing a protective surface between the tooth and the food, so that patients are even less likely to experience tooth decay. Because sealants can not only keep food out, but also prevent treatment of existing decay, dental sealant is typically a procedure applied to young patients – often children and teenagers in their most cavity prone years (6-14).

The process for applying sealants is fairly straightforward. First, teeth are thoroughly cleaned and dried. An acidic solution is used to roughen the surface of the enamel to allow the sealant to properly bond, and then teeth are rinsed and dried again. Finally, the sealant is painted on in a thin layer, and hardened with a special light used to cure the plastic. Properly applied, a dental sealant can protect the bite surface of teeth for up to 10 years.

If you have children in the cavity prone age ranges, or if you’re concerned about tooth decay on rear teeth that are difficult to brush, ask your dentist about dental sealants. They may not be an option for every patient, but your dentist will be able to advise you about whether or not you or your children are good candidates, as well as informing you of the cost and time frame of the procedure.

For more information on dental sealants 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.

Halloween Candy & Your Oral Health | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

Pail Full of Halloween CandyThe end of October features one of America’s favorite holidays: Halloween. Ghosts, goblins, witches, and princesses roam the streets delivering frights and collecting candy. While many parents have echoed the line that candy will rot children’s teeth, there’s no reason to deny children the enjoyment of Halloween candy, but it’s important to supervise them to ensure that their Halloween is enjoyed in a way that keeps their teeth safe.

Use Halloween as a way to teach children about moderation – by teaching children to eat a moderate amount of treats, you’ll encourage them to practice moderation in their daily lives, including other sugary foods they’ll encounter year round such as sweet juices and starch heavy breads. Allow your children to choose the candy they want to eat, but set a limit on the number of pieces, and remove the extras – they can be saved for a future day, frozen for later, thrown away, or donated.

While sugar does promote decay, the effect of sugar is not instant. If children eat candy for a short time period, and then brush their teeth a short time later, the impact of the sugar is fairly minimal. For that reason, allow children to eat candy during a fixed time period – rather than an all day feast, they’ll have a fixed window for candy. This allows them to prioritize their candy enjoyment, minimizes the chances that they’ll consume far too much, and by following treats with brushing, helps prevent cavities.

Focus on fun, but effective, tooth brushing. Children often need stimulation beyond simple health to brush regularly and sufficiently, so swap toothbrushes every few months with new, fun characters/colors, and give your children the opportunity to pick their own toothpaste (but check the label to ensure it contains fluoride).

If you have questions about how Halloween impacts your children’s dental health, contact your dentist, or ask during one of your scheduled appointments – they’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

For more information on candy and tooth decay 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.

Tooth Decay | Indianapolis Cosmetic Dentist

477787597Cavities. It may be the word most closely associated with a trip to the dentist. While many patients think of cavities, many dentists tend to call the condition tooth decay.

Whether you call it a cavity or tooth decay, the problem is the same: germs in your mouth create acid that eventually eats away at the hard surface of your teeth. If not treated, the decay can cause infection, pain, and eventually tooth loss.

As you eat food or drink beverages, a clear sticky substance, plaque, builds up on your teeth and consumes the remnants of the food and beverages. Consisting primarily of bacteria, the plaque consumes the sugars left on and between your teeth after meals. The acid from the plaque slowly destroys the enamel – the hard surface of your teeth – allowing acid and bacteria to reach the softer, less protected parts of your teeth, where decay and infection accelerates.

Dentists will use a combination of X-rays and close visual inspection to identify areas of decay in your mouth. If the decay has eaten through your enamel, the dentist will likely correct the issue by removing the decay with a dental drill, and fill the resulting void with a filling – typically resin or a substance known as amalgam.

With regular visits, it’s likely that your dentist will discover and correct decay before it becomes a major problem. Ideally, your dentist will be able to treat decay with simple fillings, rather than more invasive procedures like root canals and full tooth extractions. If you have pain in a specific tooth, schedule a visit with your dentist as soon as possible, so that you can treat the source of the problem before it gets much worse.

For more information on tooth decay 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.

Americans Are Now Receiving Fluoridated Water | Indianapolis, IN

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that that 73.9 percent of Americans who get their water from municipal systems now benefit from optimal fluoridation, bringing the number of Americans receiving optimally fluoridated water to an all-time high of 204 million people.

This was welcoming news to the members of the American Dental Association. Fluoridation of community water is a proven method for preventing tooth decay.

“The ADA congratulates the CDC and the thousands of organizations and individuals who continue to work toward the day when the customers of every community water system enjoy the benefits of optimal fluoridation,” the ADA said.

Dr. George Kirtley applauds the CDC in their efforts for better oral health among Americans. In addition he always recommends regular dental checkups and routine care.

Contact Dr. George Kirtley today and make an appointment to ensure you have the best oral health. Office: 317-841-1111 or visit his website www.smilesbygeorge.com.