The visible part of a tooth, otherwise known as the crown, is only a small portion of the living system. The crown is made up of enamel, the hardest substance found within the body. It is bone that has been enriched with large percentages of calcium. That's why people who drink lots of milk or take calcium supplements have strong bones and teeth. The enamel is thickest at the crown, and thinnest near the roots of the teeth.
Excellent crowns and bridges were made by the Etruscans in the 7th cent. B.C. At about that time, teeth were being extracted in Asia Minor as a cure for bodily ills and diseases. Skills achieved by the Etruscans, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans were largely lost during the Middle Ages, when barbers and roving bands of charlatans practiced unskilled dentistry at marketplaces and fairs. Abulcasis, a Spanish Moor, was one of the few in his time who studied dental surgery.
The permanent teeth are the second set of teeth that will last the rest of your life. They tend to be more yellow (and not just because of coffee) and are extremely hard. The final set of teeth is made up of 32 teeth, or 16 on each jaw. There are two central incisors for biting, two lateral incisors for biting, two canines for tearing and cutting, four premolars for chewing, and six molars for chewing.
Tooth loss is something no one looks forward to. If you lose one or more teeth, you have a number of options, one of which is dental implants. You owe it to yourself to be informed as possible about these options. With this in mind, we've created this section on dental implants. Begin learning more about dental implants for tooth replacement exacltly now!
Implants are great for replacing missing teeth. It is important that you have enough bone in the area of the missing teeth for the implants to be attached to. Implants are not only used to replace one tooth, but rather people missing most, if not all, of their teeth benefit greatly as well. Implants are increasingly being used to replace certain types of bridges and removable partial dentures.
When missing one tooth, your cosmetic dentist may use a Flipper to fill the space. A Flipper is a false tooth to temporarily take the place of a missing tooth before the permanent crown is placed on the implant. A Flipper can be attached via either a wire or a plastic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. Flippers are meant to be a temporary solution while awaiting the permanent crown to be placed on your implant(s).
There are two main types of dentures. Both Complete Dentures and Partial Dentures are finely crafted, custom-fitted. If you properly maintain your dentures they will appear natural and provide a perfect smile. Additionally, dentures help strengthen muscles controlling your expressions that require the support of your teeth, rid you of pronunciation problems caused by missing teeth and aid with chewing.
If you've lost, or are losing, all of your teeth a Complete Denture is something to discuss with your cosmetic dentist. If some of your teeth remain and are healthy, a partial denture may be your way to a great smile.
This procedure should be thoroughly discussed with your dentist as there are several personal and medical factors to take into consideration. You may instead be a candidate for dental bridges and dental implants as optional procedures.
This section of our cosmetic dentistry information site provides you with some background into dental veneers, both composite veneers and porcelain veneers. Dental veneers, sometimes called tooth veneers, can be used to correct both color and shape problems.
Veneers provide a durable solution to the color and shape problems that are common to so many people. Veneers are applied to fronts or visible areas of the teeth. The enamel (outside layer of the tooth) is ground down or reduced by just fractions of a milimeter in order to allow for the thin (contact lense thickness) veneer to be permanently attached to the tooth.
Veneers, porcelain or plastic, are placed over the front teeth to change color shape of the teeth. Veneers are ideal for teeth that are too small, too big, or have uneven surfaces. It is very common for people to have imperfect teeth, either oddly shaped teeth, chipped teeth, crooked teeth, teeth with small holes in them, or an inappropriate sized tooth or teeth that have an odd appearance. Veneers solve such irregularities and create a durable and pleasing smile.
While no alternative to veneers will create the exact same effect, there are some popular procedures that may seem worthwhile. Crowns, while more expensive, also act to cover the tooth with a protective coating. For individuals who simply want to brighten their teeth, many clinics now offer tooth bleaching, though this is a much less permanent procedure.
The dental bonding procedure utilizes a composite resin and is used for a variety of structural as well as cosmetic purposes. One can draw a parallel between dental bonding materials and a sculptor's clay. By using dental composite resin bonding your dentist can restore chipped or broken teeth, fill in gaps and reshape or recolor your smile.
You are good candidate for tooth bonding, if you have close, small gaps between your front teeth, or if you have chipped or cracked teeth, you may be a candidate for bonding. Bonding is also used for patients who have discolored teeth, uneven teeth, gum recession or tooth decay. Bonding material is porous, so smokers will find that their bonding will yellow. If you think you are a candidate for bonding, discuss it with your dentist.
A dental bridge is a false tooth, known as a pontic, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the area left by a missing tooth. The two crowns holding it in place that are attached onto your teeth on each side of the false tooth. This is known as a fixed bridge. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges cannot be taken out of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.
The dentist will then make an impression, which will serve as the model from which the bridge, false tooth and crowns will be made by a dental laboratory. A temporary bridge will be placed for you to wear while your bridge is being made until your next visit. This temporary bridge will serve to protect your teeth and gums.
Your cosmetic dentist may have you use a Flipper appliance. A Flipper is a false tooth to temporarily take the place of a missing tooth before the permanent bridge is placed. A Flipper can be attached via either a wire or a plastic piece that fits in the roof of your mouth. Flippers are meant to be a temporary solution while awaiting the permanent bridge.
Tooth reshaping, or contouring, is one of few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session.
You maybe candidate for tooth contouring and reshaping, if you want your teeth to appear less crowded, lack chips and fractures, have decreased overlaps or to be without pits or grooves in the enamel, this procedure should be discussed with your cosmetic dentist.
With a little dental contouring, you can make a huge difference in the way you feel about your smile. Good cosmetic dentistry can give you a smile that is the envy of others. Tooth contouring by a cosmetic dentist does require that you have normal, healthy teeth.
Lingual braces are similar to classic orthodontic braces but are attached to the backside of the teeth, rather than the front. Although they still have many of the problems of standard braces, they are not visible and may be chosen by adults who do not wish for visible braces. Lingual braces are more expensive than standard braces but the fastest method of "invisible" teeth straightening.
Some tenderness and soreness is to be expected with any method of teeth straightening, especially soon after an adjustment is made. The bone on one side of each tooth socket will be compressed, and the other side must be filled in with new bone as the tooth moves through the jaw. Standard orthodontic braces may cause superficial irritation to the interior of the mouth, a symptom that can be reduced with salt water gargles and a soft wax on the surface of the brackets. Severe side effects to teeth straightening are nearly unheard of, and the process is considered very safe.
- Dental fillings are inserted as restorations in the treatment of dental cavities, after drilling out the cavities.
- Dental implants are surgically fixed substitutes for roots of missing teeth. Embedded in the jawbone, they act as anchors for a replacement tooth, also known as a crown, or a full set of replacement teeth.
- Removable complete dentures are full-mouth false teeth, which are used when a patient has no teeth left on either the mandibular arch, the maxillary arch, or both.
- A layer of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or acrylic resin, attached to and covering the surface of a metal crown or natural tooth structure.
- Total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensibility, induced by disease, injury, acupuncture, or an anesthetic, such as chloroform or nitrous oxide.
- Local or general insensibility to pain with or without the loss of consciousness, induced by an anesthetic.
- A drug, administered for medical or surgical purposes, that induces partial or total loss of sensation and may be topical, local, regional, or general, depending on the method of administration and area of the body affected.
- A dental bridge is a prosthesis used in place of missing teeth and may be removable or permanently attached.
- The formation of cavities in the teeth by the action of bacteria; tooth decay.
- Also known colloquially as tooth decay.
- Full-coverage restoration (sometimes incorrectly called a cap) is a prosthetic tooth designed by a dentist and usually created by a lab technician.
- A hard, white, translucent ceramic made by firing a pure clay and then glazing it with variously colored fusible materials.
- The medical study of the mouth and its diseases.
- Also known as tooth whitening.