Posts for: February, 2017
Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.
In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.
For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.
Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.
It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.
That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”
We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?”
Porcelain veneers have become a popular way to transform a smile. They're ideal for stained, chipped or slightly misaligned teeth. But although they don't need as much tooth preparation as crowns or other bridgework, the traditional veneer still requires some permanent tooth alteration.
Now, there's an alternative: no-prep veneers. With this option we can avoid any tooth structure removal or keep it to a minimum. And it may not even require local anesthesia while applying them.
Veneers are as their name implies: a wafer-thin layer of tooth-colored porcelain that's bonded to the outside of a tooth, much like siding on a house. Although the traditional veneer is usually no more than a millimeter in width, they can still add an unnatural bulky look and feel to a tooth. To compensate, we remove portions of the enamel. A tooth permanently altered this way will henceforth require some form of restoration.
No-prep veneers are much thinner; they also don't extend under the gum line like traditional veneers. At the most the new veneers may only require us to perform some minor reshaping of the enamel, but not to the extent of traditional veneers. And because your tooth isn't permanently altered, we could presumably remove the veneer and return the tooth to its natural state and appearance (although removing the bonding might not be that easy).
There are some situations where some tooth alteration may still be necessary, like oversized or forward-jutting teeth. A bad bite (malocclusion) may require orthodontic treatment first — which in some cases could be an alternative treatment to veneers altogether.
To find out if you're a candidate for no-prep veneers, visit us for a complete examination. From there we can discuss your options and whether we can transform your smile with little change to your teeth.
Does your smile bother you? Most people have at least one dental flaw they would like to change. Luckily, cosmetic dentistry treatments offer an easy way to get the smile you deserve. Dr. Stephen Pratt and Dr. Stephanie Winterton, your dentists at Hobble Creek Dental Care in Springville, UT, share information on several helpful cosmetic dentistry treatments.
It only takes about an hour to transform your smile when you choose in-office teeth whitening. Most people see a three- to eight-shade improvement in their teeth after whitening. Take-home kits are also available if you find it more convenient to whiten at home. At-home whitening generally requires using the trays in the kit for a few weeks.
Dental crowns are used to treat many cosmetic dental issues. The hollow restorations look just like your natural teeth and are slipped over teeth after they're reduced in size slightly. Crowns conceal imperfections, such as chips, discolorations and pits; change the way twisted or oddly shaped teeth look; and lengthen teeth. They also strengthen and restore weak or damaged teeth and support artificial teeth in bridges.
Have you ever wondered how your favorite movie star got that blindingly white smile? Veneers are probably responsible. In addition to whitening teeth, veneers are also used to conceal imperfections and oddly shaped teeth, close gaps and lengthen teeth. Veneers, tooth-shaped shells that fit over the fronts of your teeth, are available in a multitude of shades.
Composite bonding in Springville
Composite resin bonding repairs damaged teeth, hides flaws and is often used to change the shape or length of teeth. The material is soft when it's applied to your teeth, but quickly hardens when it's exposed to a special light. Composite resin is tinted to match the color of your teeth and is also used for tooth-colored fillings.
If you're looking for a more permanent tooth replacement option than bridges or dentures, you'll want to consider dental implants. Implants take the place of teeth roots and permanently bond to your jawbone. They're paired with crowns to provide a total tooth replacement option.
Not sure which cosmetic dentistry option is best for you? Call Drs. Pratt and Winterton, your Springville, UT, dentists at Hobble Creek Dental Care, at (801) 489-4541 to schedule an appointment.