Category Archives: implant dentistry

When Eating Ice Cream Begins to Hurt Your Teeth | Indianapolis Dentist

If you’ve ever experienced a sharp and annoying pain in your teeth whenever you indulge in the wonderful frozen treats this summery weather can provide? No one wants to hear that they can’t have ice cream or iced tea because their teeth are too sensitive. So, what causes this cruel summertime malady?

Loss of tooth enamel, which leaves the dentin exposed, is the main reason why tooth sensitivity occurs. This may happen if you’ve been using a hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft one, as it may wear away as the abrasion can wear away the tooth enamel. However, it can also be the result of frequent consumption of acidic foods or gum recession.

It is important to take note, however, that the sharp pain when exposed to hot and cold food and beverages is not always caused by tooth sensitivity. Sometimes, it may be because of the following:

  • A cracked, chipped or fractured tooth
  • Dental caries
  • Constant grinding or clenching of the teeth, or a condition known as bruxism
  • A broken restoration that’s been leaking
  • A side effect of certain teeth whitening procedures, namely tooth bleaching

In order to find out if your teeth are indeed sensitive, talk to your dentist. Be sure to describe your symptoms in detail, like when the pain first started or anything you’ve done for the pain. Using your descriptions, the dentist will try to find out the possible cause of your sensitivity, and once finished, the dentist will then treat the underlying cause. The treatment will usually vary, depending on the case.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

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

Smile Makeovers Will Change Your Life | Indianapolis Dentist

They say that first impressions last, and few, if any, makes more of an impression than your smile. This is why it’s important that your smile make as good of an impression as it can. If you are, however, like most people, you’ve likely dreamt of having a better-looking smile, one that’s straighter, and preferably, whiter. To get that smile, a process known as a smile makeover may just be what you need.

A smile makeover is a process whose main goal is to improve the appearance of the smile through a combination of various cosmetic dentistry treatments or procedures. The list of treatments includes, but are not limited to, dental veneers, composite bonding, tooth implants and teeth whitening. It is similar to a full mouth reconstruction where multiple procedures are involved. However, the two differ in that a smile makeover is elective, while a full mouth reconstruction is necessary.

More than being a cosmetic procedure, though, a smile makeover carries a lot of functional and health benefits as well. Cosmetic dental treatments alone are expensive enough, which makes it safe to say that a series of such treatments is bound to cost a lot.

But it is worth it? If you’re perfectly content with what you have, then good for you. However, if you’re like many others whose personal and professional life is and has been suffering because of how much trouble they have smiling, then you may want to really consider getting a smile makeover treatment.

Yes, a smile makeover is expensive, but as long as you see your smile as something that you’ll own and wear for the rest of your life, it is a worthy investment for a lifetime of smiles.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

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

What Is Cosmetic Dentistry? | Indianapolis Dentist

cosmetic dentistry

We know that the dentist will keep our smiles healthy, but they are also here to improve your smile through the use of cosmetic dentistry. But what exactly is cosmetic dentistry and how does it benefit you and your smile? Let’s take a second to break down the various procedures and how they can improve your smile. Common cosmetic procedures include the following:

  • Composite white fillings repair cavities without having silver filling in the mouth. Existing metal fillings can be replaced with modern white resin
  • Bonding uses composite resin to help change the size, shape, or color of teeth. Because it attaches to teeth in the same way that composite fillings attach, bonding can be used to fix chips on visible front teeth.
  • Teeth that are discolored or stained can be whitened – either in the office or using take-home trays
  • Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain on top of the tooth that can be used to change tooth shape, size, or color.
  • Crowns can be used as a cap on top of teeth damaged by cracks or decay
  • Orthodontics – either traditional or Invisalign – can be used to permanently straighten teeth.
  • Gum tissue can be surgically altered – either added via grafts to help with recession, or removed to create a more appealing tooth length
  • For missing, broken, or severely damaged teeth, full implants can be used to provide a replacement tooth

Because modern dentists have implants as a final catchall, virtually any problem can be solved given enough time and room in the patient’s budget. However, your dentist will be able to guide you through the process, creating a treatment plan that maps the various procedures and prioritizes them for maximum effectiveness.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

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

Digital Imaging to Improve Your Dental Visit | Indianapolis Dentist

cosmetic dentistry

Computer digital imaging is nothing new, however it’s use has been used more frequently for everyday patient examinations. Simplicity, predictability and accuracy are the key components defining successful computer imaging, technology and it’s use. Software systems in the past have been known to be difficult and time consuming.

So, what is the solution to this dilemma? Improve the patient experience through the use of pictures. Why do we have pictures? Because, according to the adage “pictures are worth a thousand words”. In fact, it comes in so handy because a dental professional can give their patients a visual about what the treatment options will result in.

Is a patient more apt to accept aesthetic treatment when they can visualize themselves with an end result before they commit to it? The answer is yes. ‘Outside of the credentials of the doctor and staff and the comfort you felt with them, what was the most significant factor in deciding to have your smile makeover done?’ The response was resounding – being able to see themselves with a new smile before it was ever done. In addition, the digital imaging can be used as a communication tool to the surgeon, with the use of a visual aid.

Evaluating a patient’s smile to determine discrepancies in length to width ratios, buccal corridor deficiencies, gingival height and balance all affect the realism of a computer-generated image but also the end clinical result. Computer digital imaging is an integral part of a successful cosmetic dental practice. It is the most visually important method of communication to our patients in establishing the aesthetic possibilities for them.

Visit Dr. Kirtley today and schedule an appointment to maintain a healthy smile.  Call 317-841-1111 or www.smilesbygeorge.com.

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

What Will a Smile Makeover Repair? | Indianapolis Dentist

Your smile is typically the first thing that people will notice about your appearance, whether good or not so good. After all, life revolves around social media, and thus, selfies. But if you don’t have that typical Hollywood smile, do we just give up altogether? Not at all – you just need to head over to your dentist’s office for a consultation. You may benefit from a smile makeover.

The term smile makeover usually refers to the combination of certain dental procedures to give someone a flawless smile. Through a discussed treatment plan, your dental professional will take a unique approach to each patient’s smile goals and needs, recommending options that are in their best interest. Together you will decide which procedures will be best to achieve your perfect smile. Whether your teeth are broken, chipped, missing, discolored, or otherwise damaged, don-t you worry – it can be improved.

So, what do smile makeovers repair? Smile makeovers can address a broad range of aesthetic flaws, including:

  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Eroded, misshapen, or disproportionately sized teeth
  • “Gummy” smiles
  • An uneven gumline
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

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 to help you reach all your dental goals.

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.

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.

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.

I Knocked Out My Tooth: Is It Lost Forever? | Indianapolis Dentist

Though many hockey players consider a lost tooth a badge of honor, it is possible to reimplant a knocked-out adult tooth. A severed root experiences damage to blood vessels and tissue, but the ligaments connecting the tooth to the bone can be re-formed. The key to a successful reimplantation is how the missing tooth is stored and for how long.

Assuming you can find the tooth, avoid scraping off any dirt particles, as you risk damaging the root further. Instead, rinse it gently with a saline solution while carefully handling it by the crown. If possible, place the tooth back in its original socket, or store it in a small container with saline or milk. Milk—containing proteins, sugar, and antibacterial substances—provides the ideal environment for a lost tooth. As an added bonus, the sugars in milk help feed cells, which need to remain alive and growing in the short term.

Don’t have access to any of the above? Don’t panic. Your cheek will work well for storage in the interim; just be careful not to swallow your precious cargo.

Placing pressure on the gums will also help to reduce the bleeding and pain as you are en route to the dentist. Depending on the damage, a successful reimplanted tooth can heal significantly in three to four weeks, and become fully repaired within two months.

For more information on options for your missing tooth 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