Posts for: July, 2018
With exciting innovations in cosmetic dentistry over the last few decades, we can now transform nearly any unattractive smile. One of the best and most cost-effective of these is the porcelain veneer. These thin layers of dental porcelain are bonded over the front of chipped, slightly misaligned or stained teeth to create an entirely new look.
Veneers have evolved over time, especially with the materials they contain that give them their beauty and life-likeness. The first veneers were made mainly of feldspathic porcelain, a mineral composition known for its similarity in color and translucence to natural teeth.
But because this early porcelain had a high amount of silica (in essence, glass), and because they were created through overlaying several thin layers that weren’t as strong as a single piece, they were prone to shattering. This made them problematic for teeth subject to heavy biting forces or patients with clenching or grinding habits.
The situation changed dramatically in the 1990s, when dental labs began adding Leucite, a sturdier glass-like mineral that didn’t diminish the porcelain’s translucence. Not only did Leucite make veneers more shatter-resistant, it also enabled dental technicians to fashion most of the veneer in one piece to further strengthen it.
More recent veneers may now incorporate an even stronger material called lithium disilicate. Because lithium disilicate has twice the strength of Leucite, veneers made with it can be as thin as 0.3 millimeters. Not only does this blend together the most desirable qualities expected of a veneer—strength, aesthetic appeal and easy fabrication—it allows for a broader range of situations and uses.
Both of these materials can be pressed or milled to assume the exact shape necessary to fit a particular tooth. The manufacturing process also allows for creating smaller veneers that can then be overlaid with porcelain for the most life-like appearance possible.
Thanks to these stronger materials enhancing the natural beauty of porcelain, we now have a wider creative palate for transforming your smile.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Your Smile—Better Than Ever.”
In her decades-long career, renowned actress Kathy Bates has won Golden Globes, Emmys, and many other honors. Bates began acting in her twenties, but didn't achieve national recognition until she won the best actress Oscar for Misery — when she was 42 years old! “I was told early on that because of my physique and my look, I'd probably blossom more in my middle age,” she recently told Dear Doctor magazine. “[That] has certainly been true.” So if there's one lesson we can take from her success, it might be that persistence pays off.
When it comes to her smile, Kathy also recognizes the value of persistence. Now 67, the veteran actress had orthodontic treatment in her 50's to straighten her teeth. Yet she is still conscientious about wearing her retainer. “I wear a retainer every night,” she said. “I got lazy about it once, and then it was very difficult to put the retainer back in. So I was aware that the teeth really do move.”
Indeed they do. In fact, the ability to move teeth is what makes orthodontic treatment work. By applying consistent and gentle forces, the teeth can be shifted into better positions in the smile. That's called the active stage of orthodontic treatment. Once that stage is over, another begins: the retention stage. The purpose of retention is to keep that straightened smile looking as good as it did when the braces came off. And that's where the retainer comes in.
There are several different kinds of retainers, but all have the same purpose: To hold the teeth in their new positions and keep them from shifting back to where they were. We sometimes say teeth have a “memory” — not literally, but in the sense that if left alone, teeth tend to migrate back to their former locations. And if you've worn orthodontic appliances, like braces or aligners, that means right back where you started before treatment.
By holding the teeth in place, retainers help stabilize them in their new positions. They allow new bone and ligaments to re-form and mature around them, and give the gums time to remodel themselves. This process can take months to years to be complete. But you may not need to wear a retainer all the time: Often, removable retainers are worn 24 hours a day at first; later they are worn only at night. We will let you know what's best in your individual situation.
So take a tip from Kathy Bates, star of the hit TV series American Horror Story, and wear your retainer as instructed. That's the best way to keep your straight new smile from changing back to the way it was — and to keep a bad dream from coming true.
If you would like more information about orthodontic retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Why Orthodontic Retainers?” and “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.” The interview with Kathy Bates appears in the latest issue of Dear Doctor.
Find out how a simple oral appliance could manage your sleep apnea symptoms.
Did you just find out from a doctor that you are dealing with sleep apnea? While discovering this fact can be worrisome for some patients, we understand that it can also be a relief to finally figure out why you are feeling exhausted all of the time despite getting enough sleep. Of course, something you might not realize is that our very own Montclair, NJ dentist, Dr. Paul Dionne, could play a role in treating your sleep apnea symptoms for the long-term.
Once someone suspects that they have sleep apnea the next logical step is to schedule a sleep study with a sleep specialist. During that sleep study, a technician will be able to detect certain signs of sleep apnea. Once sleep apnea has been detected your doctor will work with you to create a treatment plan that works best for you. While CPAP therapy is the standard treatment for this sleep disorder, if you are only dealing with minor sleep apnea symptoms or if you are unable to tolerate CPAP then our Montclair, NJ, dentist may be able to treat your sleep apnea with a simple oral appliance.
Instead of wearing a facemask over your nose and mouth each night, we can provide you with a custom-fitted dental appliance that looks similar to a mouthguard and sits over both your upper and lower teeth. This device is great for treating both snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. There are different kinds of oral appliances out there and depending on your situation, we will determine the kind that is right for you.
Oral appliances work in one of two ways: they either position the jaws forward to prevent the tissue in the back of the throat from collapsing or they suppress the tongue to prevent it from blocking the airways while you sleep. Again, when we sit down with you during your consultation we will help you decide which oral appliance is best for you.
What makes oral appliance therapy so great is that all you have to do is wear this small, comfortable device while you sleep. This is particularly useful for frequent travelers, as having to carry around bulky CPAP machinery can be inconvenient and cumbersome. Plus, this oral appliance is also easy to keep clean and maintain.
Glen Ridge Dental Arts in Montclair, NJ, wants to make sure that you are sleeping soundly and waking up refreshed. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and are interested in oral appliance therapy, call our office today to schedule a consultation.
In summer, there is no shortage of occasions to show off your smile. Whether attending a wedding, graduation celebration, family reunion or neighborhood barbecue, you’ll want to look your best. But if your smile doesn’t shine as brightly as you’d like, a trip to the dental office may just be the confidence-booster you’re looking for. Here are some popular techniques to enhance your smile:
Teeth cleaning. A professional cleaning can make your mouth feel fresh and add sparkle to your smile. The dental hygienist uses special tools to get rid of plaque and tartar that you cannot remove during your oral hygiene routine at home. In addition, hygienists use a tooth-polishing tool that removes surface stains.
Professional whitening. Professional teeth whitening can achieve excellent results in one short office visit. But if you have several weeks before the big event on your calendar, you can also get winning results at home using custom-made whitening trays from the dental office. Either way, your smile can sparkle at summer celebrations.
Cosmetic bonding. If your teeth have small chips or cracks, cosmetic bonding may be a good option for you. In bonding, tooth-colored material is shaped to the tooth and hardened with a curing light. The procedure—generally done in one office visit without anesthesia—is relatively inexpensive, and the result is very natural-looking.
Porcelain veneers. If you are unhappy with the color, shape, size or spacing of your teeth, long-lasting dental veneers can give your smile a whole new look. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain shells that are bonded to the tooth’s surface. Because they may be crafted in a dental lab, they may require two to three visits to the dental office over a few-week period.
With so many options, it’s easy to put your best smile forward at all your summer gatherings. We can help. If you have any questions about brightening your smile, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
Kids aren’t the only patients who can benefit from orthodontic treatment. Many adults are going to the dentist to find out how they can align their teeth, improve their bites. and finally close up unattractive spaces. One issue they’re concerned about is being forced to wear brackets and wires as braces for multiple years. Many teen and adult patients may benefit from a less conspicuous treatment called Invisalign. Learn if Invisalign could help your Glen Ridge, NJ, dentist also serving Montclair, NJ, design a smile that you can be proud of.
It’s perfectly normal to feel anxious about wearing metallic braces for an extended period of time. They make it harder to smile and even talk. The brackets tear at the soft tissue inside of the mouth causing sores and bleeding. When first applied, the springy tension wires put a lot of pressure on the teeth and can cause some aching pain. All of these issues are relieved when you choose Invisalign. You can smile, eat, and talk with ease since it’s possible to remove the trays at will. Even while wearing them, they feel comfortable and natural.
How an Invisalign Treatment Could Help Your Smile
Many people live many years with orthodontic problems that are easily resolved. These orthodontic issues could be causing functional as well as cosmetic problems. For instance, an uneven bite could cause unnatural clenching or pressure on a single tooth. Some people have jaw pain because their teeth aren’t properly aligned. And of course, making slight adjustments to the smile can provide significant cosmetic advantages.
The Invisalign Treatment Plan
Invisalign is one of the most straightforward treatments offered by your Glen Ridge, NJ, dentist serving Montclair, NJ. It requires an initial evaluation appointment, then a visit to have tooth impressions made. You’ll visit your dentist’s offices every two or three weeks to receive your new aligner trays—each one is slightly different. Many treatments are completed in about six to 18 months.
Invisalign and Your Smile
You never know just how much better your smile could look after a relatively short Invisalign treatment. Call Glen Ridge Dental Arts in Glen Ridge, NJ, serving Montclair, NJ, at (973) 748-7790 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Paul Dionne, a dentist who enjoys helping his patients makeover their smiles.