Dorit Kemsley isn't shy. Best known to fans as an outspoken and sometimes outrageous cast member of the reality show Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Kemsley is never reticent about “mixing it up” with fellow castmates or their significant others. Recently, though, she confessed to something that left her less than confident: her smile.
Kemsley has been self-conscious about her smile because her teeth looked noticeably short, worn down from an unconscious habit of grinding her teeth. Although teeth grinding is more common among children (who normally grow out of it by adolescence), it can persist into adulthood, usually from difficulties managing high stress (a likely component in the fashion designer/reality show star's busy life).
Stress-induced teeth grinding can occur during waking hours or, more likely, during deep sleep. The accumulating, long-term effects from the habit can lead not only to worn teeth but to weakened gum support, a high risk of tooth fracture or jaw pain and dysfunction.
So, how do you know if you grind your teeth, especially if it's only happening at night? Typical signs include sore jaws after awaking from sleep, increased tooth pain or sensitivity or, like Kemsley, a noticeable difference in your tooth length. Your family or sleeping partner may also complain about the “skin-crawling” noise you make during the night.
There are ways to lessen the effects of teeth grinding. The first step is to have us verify the underlying cause for the habit. If it's tension from stress, then you might reduce the habit's occurrences by learning better stress management or relaxation techniques through individual counseling, group support or biofeedback therapy. We can also fit you with a mouth guard to wear at night or through the day that reduces the force generated during teeth grinding.
And if you've already experienced accelerated tooth wear like Kemsley with a resultant “small teeth” smile, you might pursue the same solution as the RHOBH star: dental veneers. These thin, life-like wafers of porcelain are custom-made to mask imperfections like chips, staining, slight tooth gaps and, yes, worn teeth.
Veneers are often less expensive and invasive than other cosmetic techniques, yet they can have a transformative effect, as Kemsley's Instagram followers have seen. In conjunction with other dental treatments needed to repair any underlying damage caused by a grinding habit, veneers are an effective fix for the smile you present to the world.
If you suspect you may have a grinding habit, see us for a complete examination. From there, we'll help you protect your teeth and your smile.
When dental implants hit the scene in the 1980s, they revolutionized the field of dental restorations. But as groundbreaking as they were then, they're even more advanced now.
Some of the advancements have to do with improvements in implant design and manufacturing. Implant sizes and shapes were once quite limited, but today they come in a variety of forms to better match the types of teeth they replace.
But there has also been important progress in complementary technologies that help us realize better outcomes. Many of these other advances have had a positive impact on the planning and surgical stages of implant installation.
CT/CBCT scanning. For the best outcome, it's critical to install an implant at the most appropriate location on the jaw. This can be difficult to determine, however, because of the location of oral and facial structures like nerves or sinuses that might interfere with implant placement. But using a type of computer tomography (CT) scanning called cone beam CT, we can produce a 3-D computer graphic image that helps us navigate possible obstructions as we pinpoint the ideal location for an implant.
Digital smile displays. We're now able to produce digital models of the mouth, which can assist with more than implant placement—we can also use them to visualize what a new smile with implants will look like before we install them. This is especially helpful in situations where only a few teeth need to be replaced: We want to ensure that the new implant crowns blend seamlessly with the remaining teeth for the most natural appearance.
Custom-made surgical guides. We've been using surgical guides to mark the exact drilling locations during implant surgery for many years. But 3-D printing technology can now help us produce surgical guides that are even more useful and precise. Using a 3-D printer, we can produce oral devices based on the patient's individual dental dimensions captured through digital scanning. That produces a better fit for the guide on the teeth and more accurate implant placement.
Together, these and other technological advances are helping us achieve even more successful results. Not only can they help us produce implant outcomes that can last for years or even decades, but also the most beautiful smiles possible.
If you would like more information on dental implant restorations, 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 “How Technology Aids Dental Implant Therapy.”
Removable dentures are an effective way to restore your smile following tooth loss. In addition to filling in the gaps where teeth are missing, dentures also restore normal biting and chewing functions. Plus, they help reduce facial sagging by providing support for the muscles in the face. Dentures offer numerous benefits, but they do sometimes need to be adjusted for the best possible fit. Dr. Gary Machiko, the experienced dentist at our office in Pittsburgh, PA, can fit you for removable dentures and make adjustments as needed so they fit comfortably and securely.
Benefits of Dentures
Dentures offer multiple benefits. Not only do they replace missing teeth, but they also reduce many of the unwanted side effects associated with tooth loss. For example, without enough teeth to support facial muscles, the face can begin to droop and sag. By replacing missing teeth, dentures provide much-needed support and help reduce sagging. Some of the major benefits of restoring your smile with dentures include:
- Replace missing teeth
- Fill in the gaps caused by tooth loss
- Restore full biting and chewing functions
- Reduce facial sagging and drooping
- Eliminate excess strain on teeth
- Improve speech
Partial and Full Dentures
There are two main types of dentures, partial and full. Partial dentures are utilized when the patient still has some natural teeth and does not need to replace a full row. Partial dentures fill in the gaps around the remaining natural teeth. Full dentures are also referred to as complete dentures and are needed when there are no natural teeth left along a row or arch.
Several types of partial and full dentures are available, including transitional and removable partial dentures, as well as immediate and conventional full dentures. Transitional partial and immediate full dentures can be worn immediately following a tooth extraction, but removable partial and conventional full dentures provide the best fit and are meant to be worn long term.
Adjustments are sometimes needed no matter what type of dentures you have. Factors that can affect the fit of your dentures over time include natural shrinkage of the gums, bone loss, and the muscular readjustment that occurs as your mouth adjusts to wearing dentures. If your dentures need to be readjusted for a better fit, they can be relined. This can be done by adding material under the base of the denture to help it better conform to the contours of the mouth. The skilled dentist at our office in Pittsburgh, PA, can adjust your dentures to fit better.
Getting your dentures adjusted is not difficult and usually involves relining them so they conform to your mouth better. If you need to have your dentures adjusted, schedule an appointment with Dr. Machiko by calling our office in Pittsburgh, PA, at (724) 719-2866.
Would you like to learn more about dental bondings from your Wexford, PA, dentists?
Modern technology has come a long way in restoring broken or decayed teeth. Dental bondings improve teeth to their former glory, in terms of beauty and function.
Dental bondings consist of tooth-colored materials that replace missing tooth structures and/or hide unappealing dental defects: chips, discoloration and minor spacings. Those materials are called composite resins and are made of a mixture of plastic and glass to strengthen teeth and add translucency.
Not all composite resins are made the same. They come in several shades to mimic real teeth. If the procedure is performed correctly, dental bondings can last a long time. This is especially suitable for teenagers whose teeth haven't matured completely and shouldn't undergo permanent dental restorations.
The Bonding Process
Your Wexford dentist can accomplish this procedure in a single visit, probably about 30 minutes to an hour to be exact:
- The tooth's surface is first cleaned so it is plaque-free.
- Then it's etched using an acidic gel to open tiny pores in the surface.
- The acidic gel is rinsed off and a liquid composite resin is painted on your tooth to fill tiny pores.
- A special curing light hardens the bonding material.
- The process is then repeated with another layer is painted on and cured.
- The tooth has to then be polished and the tooth properly shaped to ensure proper bite.
Caring for Bonded Teeth
Make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once before bed. Also, use fluoride-containing products that will prevent decay and receiving fluoride treatment from your dentist would be very beneficial.
Your dentist also provides professional dental cleanings twice a year and regular checkups.
If you have any questions regarding dental bonding, make sure you speak with your Wexford, PA, dentists Dr. Leslie Pasco and Dr. Gary Machiko today. Call LiveWell Dentistry at (724) 719-2866.
Your every day habits can help to support a radiant set of teeth.
Whether you just got Lumineers or professional teeth whitening from our Wexford, PA, aesthetic dentists Dr. Leslie Pasco and Dr. Gary Machiko or you just want to prevent yellowing from happening to your smile, it’s nice to know that there are simple changes you can make to your daily routine that can easily improve the radiance of your smile and prevent new stains from forming. Here are some things you can do right now for a whiter smile,
Commercial Whitening Products
The first step most people choose to take toward achieving a whiter smile is to try over-the-counter whitening products such as whitening strips or trays. Some of these products do have the ability to lighten more minor stains. Make sure to follow the product’s instructions exactly to ensure safe, effective results. If you aren’t dealing with yellowing teeth or stains but you want to boost your smile’s radiance, then these simple commercial products may give you the results you’re looking for.
While whitening toothpaste won’t lighten teeth it does contains special ingredients and abrasives that can scrub away surface stains with continued use. Whitening toothpaste can also be particularly beneficial for preventing new stains from forming. Make sure that you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day for best results.
Avoid Dark Foods and Drinks
To maintain a whiter smile, you’ll also want to limit dark foods and drinks, which cause yellowing and dark stains over time. This includes everything from coffee and tea to berries, tomatoes and soy sauce. Assume that any foods or drinks that can stain a white t-shirt will also stain your teeth.
Brush After Meals
If you do end up eating sugar, citrus, or dark foods and drinks, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth immediately after to prevent stains from forming. While you should be brushing twice a day and flossing daily, by brushing your teeth between meals you can also keep your smile looking its best.
How do I tackle more serious stains?
Is your smile just not responding to whitening products? These products, while effective, usually produce more subtle results. If you want to get your smile several shades whiter this is where our Wexford, PA, dentists can help. We offer professional teeth whitening and Lumineers to achieve significantly whiter results. So, no matter if you are dealing with minor stains or more serious, deep-set stains that are resistant to whitening treatment we offer ways to get a more radiant smile through cosmetic dentistry.
If you have questions about Lumineers, teeth whitening or any of the cosmetic treatments we offer here in Wexford, PA, don’t hesitate to call us to learn more. Turn to LiveWell Dentistry at (724) 719-2866.
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