Posts for: May, 2014
If you were a well-known actor, how far would you go to get inside the character you’re playing in a movie? Plenty of stars have gained or lost weight to fit the role; some have tried to relate to their character by giving up creature comforts, going through boot camp, even trying out another occupation for a time. But when Jamie Foxx played a homeless musician in the 2009 film The Soloist, he went even further: He had part of his front tooth chipped out!
“My teeth are just so big and white — a homeless person would never have them,” he told an interviewer. “I just wanted to come up with something to make the part unique. I had one [tooth] chipped out with a chisel.”
Now, even if you’re trying to be a successful actor, we’re not suggesting you have your teeth chipped intentionally. However, if you have a tooth that has been chipped accidentally, we want you to know that we can repair it beautifully. One way to do that is with cosmetic bonding.
Bonding uses tooth-colored materials called “composite resins” (because they contain a mixture of plastic and glass) to replace missing tooth structure. The composite actually bonds, or becomes one, with the rest of the tooth.
Composite resins come in a variety of lifelike tooth shades, making it virtually impossible to distinguish the bonded tooth from its neighbors. Though bonding will not last as long as a dental veneer, it also does not require the involvement of a dental laboratory and, most often, can be done with minor reshaping of the tooth.
Cosmetic Bonding for Chipped Teeth
A chipped tooth can usually be bonded in a single visit to the dental office. First, the surface of the tooth may be beveled slightly with a drill, and then it is cleaned. Next, it is “etched” with an acidic gel that opens up tiny pores. After the etching gel is rinsed off, the liquid composite resin in a well-matched shade is painted on in a thin layer, filling these tiny pores to create a strong bond. A special curing light is used to harden this bonding material. Once the first layer is cured, another layer is painted on and cured. Layers can continue to be built up until the restoration has the necessary thickness. The bonding material is then shaped and polished. The whole procedure takes only about 30 minutes!
If you have questions about cosmetic bonding, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”
At The Smile Shack, we care deeply about your health. And, we care about ours too! So we would like to share with you seven things we would never do to our teeth and gums.
1. Use our teeth to open a bottle cap, tear a piece of fabric, or for any other non-dental use. Teeth have many functions, including biting and chewing food, smiling, aiding in proper speech, and much more. But, be careful! Using them for things other than dental uses can result in injury that can be difficult and expensive to repair!
2. Ignore any kind of dental pain or swelling. When your body is trying to tell you something, it is important to listen! While dental pain or swelling does sometimes temporarily go away, that doesn’t mean the underlying problem has resolved. Treating problems early on is always your best solution.
3. Think that bleeding gums are “normal.” If blood were coming out of the ear (or any other body part) most people would be concerned, but for some reason many people think that bleeding gums are normal. They aren’t! Usually gums that bleed, are sensitive, or swollen means there is an underlying infection which could lead to tooth loss. Remember, coming in for regular checkups means early detection of any gum or tooth problems, which lead to a less expensive outcome in the long run.
4. Eat something and then go to bed without brushing. The flow of saliva decreases during sleep, and yucky morning breath isn’t the only problem it causes! Nighttime is the right time for sugars, bacteria and food debris to wreak havoc on your pearly whites. Always make sure to give your mouth a thorough brushing before beddy-bye.
5. Play any kind of sport without a mouthguard. An estimated 40% of dental injuries occur while playing sports, most of them involving the front teeth. Practically all of these can be prevented by simply wearing a mouthguard. It’s an inexpensive and easy procedure (as compared to the over $500 million spent each year repairing dental sports injuries!)
6. Make health care decisions based solely on insurance coverage. While dental insurance is great for offsetting some of your healthcare costs, your coverage is not always a great barometer for which treatment is right for you. At The Smile Shack, we work with you to maximize your particular coverage, help you make comfortable financial arrangements, as well as provide you with the best treatment available! It is our goal to perform high-quality dentistry for an affordable fee.
7. Go a day without smiling!! Smiling benefits your mood, boosts your immune system, makers you look younger, relieves stress, and is contagious. No wonder we would never go a day without it!!