Posts for: December, 2015
Our main focus as your dentist is to keep your teeth and gums healthy and functional. But there’s another important aspect of care — your teeth’s appearance. It’s not just a superficial concern: your smile can have a profound effect on your self-image, as well as your personal and professional relationships.
This is the realm of cosmetic dentistry: served by both specialists and general dentists, it focuses on altering your teeth’s appearance with treatments as basic as teeth whitening or as comprehensive as dental implants. The goal, however, is the same: a new, more attractive smile.
In a way, cosmetic dentistry begins with you and oral hygiene. The twin tasks of brushing and flossing to remove dental plaque not only lowers your risk for tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease, they also improve the appearance of the tooth surface. There are, however, circumstances where otherwise healthy or repaired teeth may need extra cosmetic attention due to chipping, misshape or staining. In these cases, a truly cosmetic approach may be necessary.
One approach is to cover a tooth’s blemishes. Veneers, for example, are thin, layered pieces of dental porcelain shaped and colored like natural teeth that are bonded to the outside of an unattractive tooth. In other cases, a tooth may require a life-like porcelain crown that completely covers it to gain the same effect.
Missing teeth, of course, pose a different challenge, but here there are a wide range of solutions: dental implants, fixed bridgework or removable full or partial dentures. Advancements in dental materials and techniques can produce new teeth that are so life-like and natural that they’re imperceptible from the real thing.
Â These and other measures like orthodontics can all be used to turn a smile you find embarrassing into one you’re confident to share with the world. It begins, though, with both you and us taking a good, close look at your current smile — a smile analysis, if you will.
After assessing both your current needs and your expectations for change, we can develop an appropriate treatment plan. It might be quite simple or with multiple treatment stages, but it will be the best plan for you. Through cosmetic dentistry we have the means to help you achieve a new, more confident smile.
If you would like more information on the many ways to transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry: A Time for Change.”
You've likely heard about Invisalign, the "invisible" alternative to traditional braces. These flexible plastic trays make wearing braces a discreet and comfortable process. Dr. Steven Gilbert and Dr. Carlos Velez of Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have received extensive training in the Invisalign process and technology and look forward to sharing this amazing treatment with their patients. Here's how Invisalign works:
Your journey to straighter teeth begins with a consultation about Invisalign with your Philadelphia dentist. Dr. Gilbert or Dr. Velez will evaluate the alignment of your teeth to see if the Invisalign procedure is right for you. Teens and adults with moderate crookedness typically make the best candidates; children are better suited for traditional braces because of the malleability of their jaw bones and concern about them misplacing or not consistently wearing the aligners.
If you and your Philadelphia dentist have decided on Invisalign to straighten your teeth, several 3-D images and X-rays will be taken of your teeth and jaw. These pictures will be used to create a custom treatment plan and then sent to a laboratory that specializes in making correcting dental appliances. Your custom-fit Invisalign trays, or aligners, are on their way to being created!
Soon you will receive your series of aligners. They will fit against your teeth snugly but comfortably, and since they are made of clear plastic, they will be barely noticeable while you're wearing them. For best results, your Philadelphia dentist advises wearing your Invisalign trays for 20-22 hours a day. This includes while you sleep. However, they should be removed for eating and drinking, as well as brushing and flossing. The trays should also be cleaned thoroughly at each brushing. The staff at Gilbert Dental Care will instruct you on the best way to keep the aligners clean.
The typical Invisalign regimen lasts between 9 and 15 months, but each patient is different. If straighter teeth are on your holiday wish list this year, don't wait any longer! Call Gilbert Dental Care in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania today for an evaluation!
Cavities can happen even before a baby has his first piece of candy. This was the difficult lesson actor David Ramsey of the TV shows Arrow and Dexter learned when his son DJ’s teeth were first emerging.
“His first teeth came in weak,” Ramsey recalled in a recent interview. “They had brown spots on them and they were brittle.” Those brown spots, he said, quickly turned into caviÂties. How did this happen?
Ramsey said DJ’s dentist suspected it had to do with the child’s feedings — not what he was being fed but how. DJ was often nursed to sleep, “so there were pools of breast milk that he could go to sleep with in his mouth,” Ramsey explained.
While breastfeeding offers an infant many health benefits, problems can occur when the natural sugars in breast milk are left in contact with teeth for long periods.Â Sugar feeds decay-causing oral bacteria, and these bacteria in turn release tooth-eroding acids. The softer teeth of a young child are particularly vulnerable to these acids; the end result can be tooth decay.
This condition, technically known as “early child caries,” is referred to in laymen’s terms as “baby bottle tooth decay.” However, it can result from nighttime feedings by bottle or breast. The best way to prevent this problem is to avoid nursing babies to sleep at night once they reach the teething stage; a bottle-fed baby should not be allowed to fall asleep with anything but water in their bottle or “sippy cup.”
Here are some other basics of infant dental care that every parent should know:
- Wipe your baby’s newly emerging teeth with a clean, moist washcloth after feedings.
- Brush teeth that have completely grown in with a soft-bristled, child-size toothbrush and a smear of fluoride toothpaste no bigger than a grain of rice.
- Start regular dental checkups by the first birthday.
Fortunately, Ramsey reports that his son is doing very well after an extended period of professional dental treatments and parental vigilance.
“It took a number of months, but his teeth are much, much better,” he said. “Right now we’re still helping him and we’re still really on top of the teeth situation.”
If you would like more information on dental care for babies and toddlers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Age One Dental Visit” and “Dentistry & Oral Health for Children.”