Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Before we discuss cosmetic options for transforming your smile, and before any preparations for treatment, there’s one question that needs to be answered: What do you want to be different about your smile?
There’s a common misconception that cosmetic changes to the teeth and gums — a “smile makeover” — is primarily a technical achievement based on rigid principles of beauty. Patients believe they must defer to their dentists for what will look best. But that’s not the entire picture: what’s often lost in the understanding is that it’s your smile — the smile at the end of the process you must be comfortable showing with confidence.
In this regard, there are two types of patients, with no right or wrong view — simply what a patient perceives as the smile they want. Some want the “perfect” smile — the greatest level of regularity between teeth shape, size and alignment and the maximum level of brightness. Others are more comfortable with a “natural” smile, a more subtle look with just enough change to create something new and different. The latter may even desire a less than perfect look that doesn’t “fix” all their imperfections — the ones they believe give their face “character.”
Knowing to which side you lean is important at the outset. It’s then important for you to communicate those expectations with us. While we’re focused on the technical aspects of treatment — tooth length, the lineup of teeth with other facial features or the gum-to-lip distance — only you can express what’s going to be a beautiful yet comfortable smile for you. By meshing the technical requirements with your personal desires, we’re able to formulate a makeover plan that fits you.
It all begins with a comprehensive examination to determine the exact health state of your mouth, and it may be necessary to first perform dental work to improve it. From there we can discuss what is and isn’t possible to change the appearance of your teeth and gums. In the end, we want the same result as you — a beautiful smile you’re happy and confident to show the world.
If you would like more information on smile makeovers, 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 “Great Expectations: Is what you get what you want?”
Find out how a simple dental filling can fully restore your tooth after a cavity.
Most of us at some point during our lifetime will be confronted with decay. While every bit of decay doesn't necessarily require a restorative treatment, it is important that you continue seeing our Milton, MA, family dentists (Drs. John & Patrick Murphy) and endodontist (Dr. Natalie Shlosman) for routine checkups every six months. After all, it’s during these checkups that we can decide whether the decay requires a dental filling or not.
What are dental fillings?
Dental fillings are the gold standard when it comes to repairing teeth that have been affected by decay. The purpose of a dental filling is to fill in the areas of the tooth that have been drilled away in order to restore and strengthen the tooth. While dental fillings can be made from a variety of material (e.g. metal amalgam or gold) the majority of the time, our Milton, MA, family dentist usually places tooth-colored fillings made from composite resin, a material that bears a remarkable resemblance to tooth enamel.
What are the benefits of tooth-colored fillings?
While all dental fillings are designed for the same purpose of rebuilding a tooth after decay, a tooth-colored filling, as you might imagine, offers some unique advantages. One benefit is that this composite resin filling can be matched to the color of your tooth prior to being applied, making it impossible to see once it’s been hardened to the tooth. This is the only type of filling that will truly blend right in with the tooth.
Furthermore, our restorative dentists will also bond the filling directly to the tooth. As a result, this ensures that the areas of the tooth that were once weakened by decay are now strong again and resistant to wear. With the proper care, tooth-colored fillings can last more than five years before needing to be replaced.
If you currently have metal fillings, you can also come into our office to have these metal fillings replaced with composite resin to improve its appearance.
Interested? Give us a call
Do you have questions about tooth-colored fillings or other treatment options we offer in Milton, MA? Do you need to schedule your routine dental cleaning? Whatever the case may be, our family dentists are here to meet your needs—dial (617) 696-3900 today.
People improve their smiles for a lot of reasons: to better their career prospects, to put some juice in their social lives or just to do something special for themselves. But you may have an even stronger reason: a once-in-a-lifetime event—maybe your wedding day—is coming up soon.
You have several options for transforming your smile for the big day—and some are even quite economical. Here are 4 affordable ways to make your smile beautiful for that forever moment.
Cleanings. While dental cleanings should already be part of your regular dental care, scheduling one right before a big event can do wonders for your smile. Not only can your hygienist remove any lingering dull and dingy plaque and tartar, but they can polish your teeth for a brighter shine. Remember, though: dental cleanings support your own hygiene efforts, they don't replace them. Your own daily practice of brushing and flossing will also help you maintain a beautiful smile.
Teeth Whitening. You can also get an extra boost of brightness with a tooth whitening procedure. Using a professional bleaching solution and other techniques, your dentist can lighten your smile to your tastes, from a more natural hue to dazzling white. The whitening effect, though, is temporary, so plan to see your dentist no more than a few weeks before your big day.
Bonding. Perhaps a tiny chip is all that stands between you and a knockout smile. Your dentist may be able to repair that and other minor defects by bonding tooth-colored materials to the chip site. These composite resin materials have the shine of enamel and can be color-blended to match your tooth's natural shade. Composite resins are also fairly rugged, although you should avoid biting down on hard foods or objects.
Veneers. Although more expensive than the previous options mentioned, veneers are still affordable compared to crowns or bridgework. Usually made of thin layers of dental porcelain, dentists bond veneers to the front of teeth to mask mild to moderate problems like heavy staining, disfiguration and minor gaps. But because veneers are custom-fabricated by a dental lab, you'll need to plan them with your dentist at least six months before your event. The resulting change to your smile, though, may well be worth the wait.
If you would like more information on transforming your smile for a special event, 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 “Planning Your Wedding Day Smile.”
If you know anyone with a dental implant, you may know it can be a long process in getting one. Several weeks or months can pass between removing the old tooth and placing the implant, and then several more weeks before affixing the permanent crown.
But with recent advances in implant technology, some patients don't have to wait as long for a new implant and crown. In fact, one procedure commonly known as "tooth in one day," allows patients to walk in with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new "one."
Not every implant patient, however, can undergo this accelerated procedure. If you're considering implants, the state of your bone health will determine whether or not you can.
Implants need a certain amount of available bone for proper placement. But bone loss, a common consequence of missing teeth or dental disease, can reduce bone volume to less than what's needed to place an implant. The patient may first need to undergo grafting to regenerate the bone or choose another restorative option.
If your supporting bone is sound, your dentist might then proceed with the implant. But you will still have to wait a while for your new crown. The implant needs to integrate with the bone to improve its hold. This integration process can take anywhere from a minimum of six weeks to more commonly twelve weeks. After the attachment is mature, the dentist may need to undo the gum covering before taking impressions for the formation of the new crown.
But it is possible to have a tooth or teeth in a day. For a single tooth, your dentist may be able to immediately attach a crown right after implant surgery if the implant is very stable. Even so, this crown will need to be temporary, slightly shorter than a permanent crown so that it won't make contact with other teeth and put too much pressure on the new implant. After further healing from bone integration, impressions will be taken so that you'll receive your permanent crown shortly.
Immediate crown placement can allow you to have the cosmetic and limited functional benefit of a new tooth right from the start. If multiple implants are placed in one arch in a day, it's possible to have immediate teeth if enough implants are attached together with a temporary restoration.
This is different from a single implant replacing a single tooth and does create confusion for patients when they read about teeth in a day. Regardless, no final tooth crown can be placed at the time of an implant—only a temporary restoration.
If you would like more information on your options for dental implants, 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 “Same-Day Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants.”
If you're embarrassed about your missing teeth, there's an alternative that may be right for you: dental implants. Dental implants are substitute tooth roots, usually made from titanium, that provide a stable foundation for replacement teeth. Led by family dentists Dr. John Murphy, Dr. Patrick Murphy, and Dr. Natalie Shlosman, Murphy Dental Group (located in Milton, MA) offers dental implants to their patients. Here are 5 of the advantages of undergoing implant treatment.
1. They can improve your smile. Your teeth are an important part of your appearance and lifestyle. A nice smile enhances your overall presence, and healthy teeth allow you to live with confidence. Because they're designed to look and feel just like your natural teeth, dental implants can make your smile look better than ever!
2. They can improve oral function. Your teeth are designed to work together to help you chew food and speak, but when you're missing teeth, it's difficult to do these things. Luckily, dental implants allow you to eat all foods (even the hard-to-chew ones). They can also improve your clarity of speech.
3. They can prevent teeth from shifting. If missing teeth are not replaced, the adjacent teeth will begin to drift out of place. Plaque and tartar can build up in the spaces created by the shifting teeth, and over time, this may cause oral health problems, such as cavities or gum disease. Dental implants, however, can prevent your original teeth from shifting into the spaces left by your missing teeth.
4. They can prevent jawbone loss. When teeth are missing, the healthy bone begins to break down. Bridges and dentures address the cosmetic problem of missing teeth but do not prevent bone loss. Implants, on the other hand, are anchored in the jawbone just like natural teeth. Over time, this helps preserve the bone and significantly reduce bone resorption. Dental implants are the only tooth replacement option that stops bone loss and stimulates bone growth.
5. They can prevent facial sagging. A face with missing teeth will also appear sunken and make you look older than you are, and because dentures don't stimulate the jawbone, denture wearers also develop this sunken-in look as the bone deteriorates. Without tooth roots to stimulate the bone, the bone begins to break down. Dental implants can prevent facial sagging and facial collapse because they are surgically implanted in your jawbone by a family dentist.
Interested? Give Us a Call!
Don't wait—call the family dentists at Murphy Dental Group at (617) 696-3900 today to schedule a dental consultation in Milton, MA, and get the smile you deserve!