My Blog

Posts for: June, 2017

June 26, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: restorative dentistry   inlays   onlays  

Inlays and onlays restore teeth damaged by decay. Our Port Orange, FL, dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio, shares a few inlays, onlaysbenefits of the restorations.

What are inlays and onlays?

Sometimes tooth decay is so extensive that a filling won't work, but not so bad that you need a crown. In these cases, inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth. Unlike traditional fillings, porcelain inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and then permanently attached to your teeth in our Port Orange office.

If you run your finger over your teeth, you'll feel little ridges around the edges. These ridges, called cusps, help you tear food when you eat. When you need a filling that doesn't extend beyond the cusps, an inlay is used. Onlays extend beyond at least one cusp.

What are the advantages of inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays offer several benefits, including:

  • Preservation of Healthy Tooth Structure: Crowns offer an effective way to restore a tooth severely damaged by decay, but in order to receive a crown, part of the healthy tooth structure must be filed down. When you have an inlay or onlay instead of a crown, there's no need to file your tooth.
  • Lower Chance of Another Cavity in Some Cases: Inlays and onlays are good choices if you have a cavity between two teeth. Although a traditional filling could be used, inlays and onlays do a better job at completely sealing your tooth. When your tooth is sealed, bacteria can't enter and cause a new cavity.
  • Improved Appearance: Composite resin fillings may eventually become stained or discolored. Because inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, they'll never change color.
  • Ease of Cleaning: Keeping the area around the bottom of a crown clean is very important, but cleaning can be difficult if the crown is very tight. Because inlays and onlays are placed on the top of teeth only, cleaning is a simple as ever.
  • Improved Strength: Tooth decay weakens your tooth, but adding an inlay or onlay can make it stronger.

Could you benefit from an inlay or onlay? Call our Port Orange, FL, dentist, Dr. Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio, at (386) 322-4867 to find out if the restorations are a good choice for you.

By Ultimate Dental Studio
June 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Your teenager is about to take a big step toward better health and a more attractive appearance — orthodontic treatment. You both know the benefits: better chewing function, lower risk of dental disease, and, of course, a straighter and more beautiful smile.

But your teen might also dread the next couple of years of wearing braces. And it's hard to blame them: although they're effective, wearing braces restricts eating certain snacks and foods, they require extra time and effort for brushing and flossing, and they're often uncomfortable to wear. And of high importance to a teenager, they may feel embarrassed to wear them.

But over the last couple of decades a braces alternative has emerged: clear aligners. This form of bite correction requires fewer food restrictions, allows greater ease in hygiene, and is considered more attractive than braces. In fact, most observers won't notice them when a wearer smiles.

Clear aligners are a series of clear plastic trays created by computer that are worn in a certain sequence. During wear each tray exerts pressure on the teeth to gradually move them in the desired direction. The patient wears a single tray for two weeks and then changes to the next tray in the sequence, which will be slightly different than the previous tray. At the end of the process, the teeth will have been moved to their new positions.

Clear aligners aren't appropriate for all bite problems. When they are, though, they offer a couple of advantages over braces. Unlike braces, a wearer can remove the aligner to brush and floss their teeth or for rare, special or important social occasions. And, of course, their appearance makes them less likely to cause embarrassment while wearing them.

In recent years, design improvements have increased the kinds of bites aligners can be used to correct. For example, they now often include “power ridges,” tiny features that precisely control the amount and direction of pressure applied to the teeth. They've also become thinner and more comfortable to wear.

If you're interested in clear aligners as a treatment option, talk with your orthodontist about whether your teen is a good candidate. If so, they could make orthodontic treatment for achieving a more attractive and healthy smile less of an ordeal.

If you would like more information on clear aligners as an orthodontic option, 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 “Clear Aligners for Teens.”

By Ultimate Dental Studio
June 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”