Posts for: August, 2017
Sometimes the simplest solution is the best when you have a minor tooth imperfection. Mt. Pleasant, SC, dentist Dr. Cynthia Garner of Garner Family Dentistry explains how dental veneers, a simple, yet effective, cosmetic dentistry treatment, can help you improve your smile.
Veneers offer smile-changing benefits
Veneers, thin pieces of porcelain that are designed to fit your teeth perfectly, can conceal many types of flaws in teeth and also completely change the appearance of your smile. Because many dental flaws only affect the enamel on the front surfaces of your teeth, veneers offer a fairly easy way to hide these imperfections.
You'll need to visit our Mt. Pleasant office twice to receive veneers. During the first visit, we'll prepare the tooth removing a very thin layer of enamel to ensure a comfortable fit for your new veneers. A dental lab will create your veneers using impressions taken in our office. In most cases, your new veneers will be ready in about a week or two. When you visit for the second time, we'll use water to temporarily attach your veneers to check the fit and make any adjustments that may be needed before we permanently attach them to your teeth.
How can veneers help me?
Veneers are often used to correct these cosmetic issues:
- Minor Imperfections: Imperfections don't have to be large to affect your smile. Even small chips, pits or cracks can make you feel self-conscious about your appearance. Veneers cover these flaws completely.
- Gaps: Braces are very effective in closing large gaps, but when the spaces between your teeth are small, veneers offer a simpler option.
- Shape and Length Issues: Veneers are often used to ensure that your teeth look more uniform. They cover twisted, crooked and pointed teeth and can even extend the length of teeth.
- Discolorations and Stains: Our society values a bright smile, but teeth naturally come in a variety of shades. If you would like to whiten your smile, adding veneers to your front teeth can completely transform your smile. They're also a good choice if one or two teeth are discolored.
Would you like to transform your smile with veneers? Call Mt. Pleasant, SC, dentist Dr. Cynthia Garner of Garner Family Dentistry at (843) 884-6002 to schedule an appointment.
Your nightly snoring has become a major sleep disturbance for you and other family members. But it may be more than an irritation — it could also be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that increases your risk for life-threatening illnesses like high blood pressure or heart disease.
Sleep apnea most often occurs when the tongue or other soft tissues block the airway during sleep. The resulting lack of oxygen triggers the brain to wake the body to readjust the airway. This waking may only last a few seconds, but it can occur several times a night. Besides its long-term health effects, this constant waking through the night can result in irritability, drowsiness and brain fog during the day.
One of the best ways to treat sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This requires an electric pump that supplies constant pressurized air to a face mask worn during sleep to keep the airway open. But although effective, many patients find a CPAP machine clumsy and uncomfortable to wear. That's why you may want to consider an option from your family dentist called oral appliance therapy (OAT).
An OAT device is a custom-made appliance that fits in the mouth like a sports mouthguard or orthodontic retainer. The majority of OAT appliances use tiny metal hinges to move the lower jaw and tongue forward to make the airway larger, thus improving air flow. Another version works by holding the tongue away from the back of the throat, either by holding the tongue forward like a tongue depressor or with a small compartment fitted around the tongue that holds it back with suction.
Before considering an OAT appliance, your dentist may refer you to a sleep specialist to confirm you have sleep apnea through laboratory or home testing. If you do and you meet other criteria, you could benefit from an OAT appliance. There may be other factors to consider, though, so be sure to discuss your options with your dentist or physician to find the right solution for a better night's sleep.
If you would like more information on sleep apnea treatments, 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 “Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea.”
Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.Â Recently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.
Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.
A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.
Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.
If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.
If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”