If you’re like many people, your holiday season is filled with loads of festive get-togethers and parties with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Naturally, you want to look your best, and one feature that can truly make a difference in your overall appearance is your smile, which is why this is the time of year that many people consider making over their smile with Snap On Smile®.
The holidays often provide us with many reasons to smile – and wouldn’t it be nice if when those facial muscles start turning upward, your teeth looked great? Of course it would!
When it comes to making your smile look its best, how quickly you can achieve the look you want to achieve is dependent on what you want or need to do to enhance your smile. For some, all that’s needed to enhance their smiles for the holidays (or anytime) is a laser whitening treatment, so that teeth are as bright and shiny as the spirit of the season. For others, however, more extensive cosmetic work may need to be done in order to achieve the smile of their dreams.
For individuals that have more extensive work to do on their teeth beyond simple whitening, one solution to transform teeth that is relatively quick, easy and inexpensive is a Snap On Smile®. This solution is a dental plate made from a thin resin material that is worn over existing teeth to create a dazzling, beautiful smile.
The dental plate is created after the dentist takes a mold of your mouth and then the plate is customized to fit comfortably over your teeth. The plates can be worn on the upper teeth only, the lower teeth only, or two plates can be worn on both the upper and lower teeth at the same time. Since the entire surface of the tooth structure is covered by the thin resin material, Snap On Smile® can completely transform the look of teeth no matter how bad they may look. The resin plate covers stained or discolored teeth, as well as covering chipped or cracked teeth, and even crooked or missing teeth.
One major benefit to this type of smile enhancement is that it costs less than having more extensive dental work performed, such as dental implants, bridges or veneers. Another benefit to this option is that you can transform your smile relatively quickly since all that is required is a single office visit to have the molds taken of your teeth and then a second office visit to have the plates checked for proper fit after they are manufactured. The only wait time you experience is the time it takes between your two office visits to wait for the resin plates to be manufactured.
Additionally, many people like the option which allows them to wear Snap On Smile® when they want to and then not wear it when they don’t. Since it is an easily removable plate, you can opt to only snap the plate in when you are heading out to a holiday party, are visiting with family or are giving a big presentation at work, even if you don’t feel like wearing it on an everyday basis. It provides you with the dazzling smile you desire as well as the versatility of wearing it only when and where you want.
For more information about Snap On Smile® or to discuss other ways to enhance your smile, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.
If you are missing teeth, one of the options you have to replace those missing teeth is to get a denture. A denture is an appliance, also called a prosthesis, which replaces missing teeth. The apparatus is designed to replace the look of natural teeth, as well as surrounding gum tissue, so that it looks as natural as possible. Removable dentures can be taken out of the mouth, and are usually at the very least taken out each night during sleep. Permanent dentures are another option and are permanently affixed in the mouth using dental implants.
There are two primary types of dentures – full dentures, which replace all the teeth on the upper or lower portion of the mouth in one piece, or partial dentures, which only replace a few teeth. Partial dentures function more like a dental bridge, since they are attached to existing teeth in some way so that they remain in place. On the other hand, full dentures cover the entire expanse of the gum area so there are no teeth to attach the appliance to. Therefore, these dentures must be held in place with a temporary denture adhesive that keeps the apparatus in contact with the gums, unless they are permanently attached using dental implants.
When most people think of dentures, they think of removable appliances that look rather false in the mouth and can be uncomfortable or can even slip or fall out when eating certain foods. The good news is that advances in dentistry have resulted in dentures that are more natural-looking and more comfortable, so even if you are wearing a full denture, it is a more pleasant experience than the dentures you may remember your grandparents wearing.
Although dentures are more natural looking today than in years past, many people are still left wondering whether they should opt for dentures if they are missing teeth. There are a number of things to consider before making that decision. One option that should really be looked into as an alternative to dentures is dental implants. Implants also serve to replace missing teeth, but do so in a very different way.
In contrast to dentures, which rest on top of the gum area, dental implants involve a titanium post being surgically implanted into the jaw bone to serve as a base for a replacement tooth or teeth to rest. Each titanium post can hold a single replacement tooth, or crown, or you can attach a set of multiple teeth (a denture) to a few implants secured in the mouth to hold them permanently in place.
This procedure offers the benefit of keeping teeth permanently and more securely anchored in the mouth as compared to removable dentures, which can be more comfortable and look more natural. The other benefit of dental implants is that the insertion of the post leads to bone growth and therefore impedes any bone loss in the area. This is a huge benefit since people that are long term denture wearers often suffer from increasing bone loss in the jaw area over time.
Although dental implants offer a number of benefits over removable dentures, they are also more expensive, require a surgical procedure and take longer to complete. These drawbacks are the reason that everyone hasn’t simply given up on removable dentures as a viable dental replacement option to instead opt for dental implants. In fact, dentures are still the more widely chosen option for replacement teeth, although dental implant procedures continue to gain ground in the realm of tooth replacement options, and more and more people are opting for dental implant supported dentures, which combines the best of both worlds – dental implants to hold the replacement teeth in place, with a denture taking the place of individual crowns on every post so that fewer dental implants are needed to replace all teeth.
As you can see, there are a number of factors to consider when determining whether dentures are a good option for you. In some cases, the benefits of dental implants over dentures far outweigh any drawbacks, such as increased cost or the invasiveness of the procedure. However, there are still millions of people worldwide that opt for dentures and have not made the switch to dental implants, so if you choose to do so, you are certainly in good company.
For more information about dentures or to schedule an appointment to discuss whether dentures or dental implants are the best option for you to consider, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.
If you’ve visited most modern dental practices these days, you’ve probably noticed that they use lasers to perform some dental procedures. There are a number of benefits to laser dentistry as compared to more traditional dental procedures, which are prompting more and more dentists to utilize lasers in the practice of dentistry.
Lasers are used in procedures that affect both the hard surfaces in the mouth, such as teeth, as well as soft tissue, such as gums and the inside of the mouth. When it comes to teeth, one of the most common uses for laser technology is in teeth whitening, while lasers are also used to remove decay from teeth, as well as to seal tubules that lead to tooth sensitivity. Soft tissue laser procedures include gum reshaping, frenula removal, removal of benign tumors on the inside of the mouth and treatment of cold sores.
Why are so many dentists opting for laser technology rather than using more traditional techniques and equipment? For one, laser dentistry results in less pain during and after the procedure. This means that procedures can be performed without the need for anesthesia. Recovery times are generally shorter as well, since wounds heal faster, tissue regenerates more quickly, there is less damage to surrounding tissue, the risk of infection is minimized and there is typically less bleeding since lasers aid in coagulation. Additionally, laser dentistry procedures performed on soft tissue can often be completed without the need for sutures.
The most common use of lasers in dentistry is for cosmetic reasons. Laser tooth whitening is the most effective way to dramatically increase the whiteness and brightness of teeth. The procedure is quick, results are seen almost immediately and improvements last longer than most tooth whitening options. In our office, we use the BriteSmile® laser teeth whitening procedure. During the procedure, which only takes about an hour, teeth are first thoroughly cleaned. Then a light-activated whitening agent is applied to the teeth to bleach the organic portion of the tooth enamel to the desired shade. A laser is then used to activate the whitener, with results occurring quickly. Our laser teeth whitening procedure is more effective than at-home teeth whitening kits, and can offer more significant results compared to over-the-counter whitening products found in stores.
Another cosmetic laser dental procedure is crown lengthening. This procedure involves reshaping gum tissue using a laser to extend the length of the exposed portion of teeth. This can be done if teeth look small or short because gums extend down over the top of the tooth. Crown lengthening may also be performed if a portion of the tooth covered by the gums needs to be restored due to decay and requires a dental filling or a crown. In individuals that have excess muscle tissue attaching the inside of the mouth to the gums (called the frenula), lasers can quickly and easily remove the soft tissue to enhance the look of the mouth or to prevent spacing between front teeth, which can occur if the frenula attaches near the base of teeth.
The use of lasers in dentistry offers a number of benefits, allowing dentists to perform procedures with more precision, greater effectiveness, quicker healing and less pain than ever before. If you are considering a procedure in which lasers can be used, discuss the option with your dentist during your consultation appointment.
For more information about laser dentistry, or to schedule an appointment for one of our dental laser procedures, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.
Individuals that have lost a tooth may be wondering whether their best option for replacing the lost tooth is to get a dental bridge or instead opt for a dental implant. That is a question very often asked by patients and the answer is that it is a very personal decision. However, in order to make that decision easier for you, we will weigh some of the pros and cons of each procedure so you can make a more informed choice about whether a dental implant or dental bridge is right for you.
For starters, dental implants require a minor surgical procedure in which a titanium post is secured into the bone of the jaw to serve as an anchor for a crown that will function and look just like a natural tooth. Once the titanium post or screw is implanted, it must heal over a period of several months before a permanent crown can be placed on it. This allows for the site to fully heal and for all swelling to subside, as well as for the post to secure itself firmly into the bone, before the permanent replacement tooth is attached. In the meantime, while the implant site is healing, a temporary crown can be worn to replace the missing tooth.
In contrast, a dental bridge involves the filing down of the adjacent teeth next to the missing tooth, even though they may be perfectly healthy, so that a crown can be place on top of the adjacent teeth. Then a mold is taken so that crowns for both adjacent teeth (or a single tooth if it is a cantilever bridge) can be manufactured, as well as an additional false tooth that will go in the space where the missing tooth used to be. The new false tooth is held in place by a bridge that attaches the tooth to the crowns that will sit on the adjacent teeth.
So, what are some of the things you need to consider before you decide which option is better for you? Many dentists will agree that as long as you are a candidate for dental implants, it is the preferable option. That is because the titanium implant forms a bond with the bone much in the same way that an actual tooth would do. When this bond ceases to exist, bone loss can occur over time. This can be the case if the patient opts for a dental bridge because no replacement for the bond between tooth and bone exists.
Another factor to consider is the procedure itself. If you are not comfortable with a surgical procedure, then you may be squeamish about having a dental implant. However, if you choose instead to have a bridge put in, you will have to endure having two otherwise healthy teeth filed down so that they can hold a crown. This means that instead of only one tooth being affected, as is the case with an implant, three teeth will be affected just to replace a single missing tooth.
Cost is another factor that many people consider. While it is true that the cost of dental implants is initially higher than the cost of a bridge, it may turn out to be that over time, that differential evens out or even tips in the other favor due to increased dental office visits that may arise due to a broken or cracked bridge or subsequent bone loss in the jaw, which can result in more severe dental issues in the future.
For more information about the benefits and drawbacks of dental bridges and dental implants or to schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to discuss which option is best for you, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.
Snap On Smile® is one of the easiest ways to obtain the smile of your dreams. It is a removable appliance, similar to a denture that is custom-fitted over your existing teeth, and does not require a dentist to scrape or file down your teeth. This means that the appliance causes no damage to your natural teeth and can therefore be used on a temporary basis or as a more permanent solution to get the smile you’ve always wanted.
As with any type of dental appliance, there are certain care instructions that should be followed in order to keep your Snap On Smile® in the best condition possible and to prolong the lifespan of the appliance. Since the appliance is removable in much the same way as a denture or mouth guard, you will need to clean the appliance each time you remove it from your teeth. This can be done with the cleaning solution that comes with your original Snap On Smile®. Refills of the solution can be purchased directly from your dental practitioner, and the step by step instructions for how to clean the apparatus are included on the bottle of cleaning solution.
In addition to cleaning your appliance each day or each time you use it with the cleaning solution, you also want to ensure that you properly clean your natural teeth and gums. This is especially important since food, bacteria and debris can become trapped between the apparatus and your teeth or gums, which can increase the likelihood of decay or infection. At the same time that you remove your Snap On Smile®, you should provide a thorough cleaning of your mouth by brushing properly, flossing well and rinsing your mouth. You should also repeat your oral hygiene routine each morning before you re-insert the apparatus into your mouth.
Although the Snap On Smile® is made of bright and durable dental resin material, you’ll want to try to avoid the same culprits that can stain natural teeth, such as coffee, red wine and cigarettes, if you’re concerned about possible staining of your bright and shiny replacement teeth. The Snap On Smile® does resist staining but the best way to completely avoid stains, aside from refraining from these things all together, is to stick to a strict cleaning regimen so that residue does not build up and remain on the appliance.
With proper care, your Snap On Smile® should provide you with years of use, although the length of time that your appliance can be used will be dependent on a variety of factors, including how often you wear it (on a regular, permanent basis or only periodically for special occasions), how carefully you handle and store the appliance when not being used, what you bite and chew on while the appliance is in your mouth, as well as other factors. The Snap On Smile® is made from a durable dental resin material, but as with other types of cosmetic dental options made from resin material, such as veneers and dentures, the material does have a limited lifespan.
For more information about Snap On Smile® or to schedule an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see if Snap On Smile® is right for you, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.
Periodontal or gum disease is no laughing matter. However, there is a wide spectrum of severity when it comes to periodontal disease, so if you can recognize the early signs of gum disease and can take steps to properly treat the problem, you can hopefully avoid or delay the onset of more serious stages of this condition.
Gum disease is primarily caused by plaque that is not removed on and between teeth and gums. All of this sticky plaque results from bacteria that combine with the food particles we eat and drink, as well as the mucus in our mouth. If left on the teeth and gums, plaque and tartar (which is hardened plaque) can not only negatively impact teeth, but can lead to the early stages of gum disease, also known as gingivitis.
Gingivitis is generally easy to recognize because gums become red and swollen or may bleed easily when brushing and flossing. Regular trips to the dentist will allow your dentist or dental hygienist to check for signs of gum inflammation and gingivitis. The best treatment for combating the effects of gingivitis and halting its progression is a stringent commitment to routine daily oral hygiene that includes proper brushing and flossing each day. Additionally, a regular schedule of visits to the dentist or dental hygienist should be adhered to. Typically every six months is often enough to make these visits, although if gingivitis begins to progress, your dental professional may recommend more frequent visits for routine cleanings.
As gum disease progresses, it will advance to a stage called periodontitis. This can be recognized by the gums starting to pull away from teeth, known as receding. When this occurs, a pocket forms in the space where the gum used to be that can trap bacteria and plaque, which can then become infected and lead to more serious and extensive problems. During a dental visit, the dentist or dental hygienist will typically use a thin metal pick-like tool called a probe to measure how much your gums may be receding from your teeth (how large the pocket is), which can indicate that gingivitis is progressing to this more serious form of gum disease. If left untreated, periodontitis can lead to loss of bone and connective tissue and you may be at risk of losing your teeth. Advanced gum disease has also been linked to other potential health concerns.
The best way to prevent potentially serious periodontitis is to recognize the earlier signs of gingivitis and to take steps to prevent the worsening of the condition. As mentioned earlier, these include red or swollen gums, which are a sign of inflammation, as well as gums that may bleed easily or feel tender, such as when brushing or eating. Another early sign of gum disease is bad breath that won’t go away, although this can also be the result of other medical problems (some serious) and should be looked into further.
As gum disease begins to progress to more advanced stages, additional signs such as increased inflammation and receding gums (which can be recognized because the teeth appear longer since the gums have pushed back) may be noticeable. As infection under the gums becomes even more severe, teeth may become more sensitive and it may be painful to chew or bite. At its most serious stages, teeth may become loose because the underlying bone structure is compromised.
Recognizing early signs of gum disease, and making a commitment to maintain a stringent oral hygiene program, is the best way to prevent this condition from worsening. If gum disease reaches more advanced stages, you may require more invasive treatment, such as root planing and scaling, medication, surgery and even bone or tissue grafts. Being vigilant about any changes to your gums is the most effective way that you can keep your gums healthy and avoid more serious problems.
For more information about gum disease or to schedule an appointment with a dentist or periodontist to evaluate your periodontal disease, contact Park Dental Care in Queens at 718-274-1515.