“Redesigning” a smile is a lot like remodeling a house: the technicalities of construction must blend seamlessly with what is perceived as elegant and beautiful. The first aspect — the proper materials and techniques to achieve a sound restoration — is absolutely crucial. But the aesthetic is just as important for assuring the final restoration evokes beauty and style.
Balancing these two aspects of a smile makeover requires thoughtful intent and planning. What may be pleasing aesthetically may not be technically feasible; but what may be technically sound may not have that sought-after “curb appeal.”
You and your dentist must work together to achieve the successful blending of these two aspects. That’s why it’s important for you to have full confidence in your dentist: that he or she is both technically skilled and experienced in cosmetic procedures and artistically aware of what will look best aesthetically.
The first step in your makeover is a thorough dental examination to determine the overall state of your oral health. With this “bigger picture,” your dentist will have a better understanding of what’s possible and practical for you and your situation. The exam may also reveal problems that should be treated first before any cosmetic work.
From there, you must communicate clearly to your dentist what you perceive as wrong with your smile and what you would like to have changed. While there are general principles of beauty best followed, your dental work could hypothetically take different paths depending on your desires and expectations. You might prefer a more “sexy” look or one that’s “sophisticated.” Or perhaps you only want subtle changes that still retain features expressing your individuality.
Ultimately, though, your expectations must line up with reality. Much like your house contractor, your dentist will advise you on what’s both practical and possible. And with their experience in smile enhancement, they can also help you determine what will look most attractive given your facial structure and features.
With this preliminary planning, you can be confident as the work proceeds that the end of the project will be both exciting and satisfying. And just as with your newly renovated home, you’ll be more than happy to share your smile with others.
If you would like more information on enhancing your smile through cosmetic dentistry, 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 “Beautiful Smiles by Design.”
If you're one of over 30% of Americans who wince in pain when eating and drinking certain foods and beverages, you may have tooth sensitivity. Although there are a number of possible causes, the most common place to look first is tooth dentin.
Lying just under the enamel, dentin consists of tiny tubules that transmit sensations like pressure or temperature variation to the nerves of the inner pulp. The enamel, the gums and a covering on the roots called cementum help dampen these sensations.
But over-aggressive brushing or periodontal (gum) disease can cause the gums to shrink back (recede) and expose the dentin below the gum line; it can also cause cementum to erode from the roots. This exposure amplifies sensations to the nerves. Now when you eat or drink something hot or cold or simply bite down, the nerves inside the dentin receive the full brunt of the sensation and signal pain.
Enamel erosion can also expose dentin, caused by mouth acid in contact with the enamel for prolonged periods. Acid softens the minerals in enamel, which then dissolve (resorb) into the body. Acid is a byproduct of bacteria which live in dental plaque, a thin film of food particles that builds up on teeth due to poor oral hygiene. Mouth acid may also increase from gastric reflux or consuming acidic foods or beverages.
Once we pinpoint the cause of your tooth sensitivity we can begin proper treatment, first and foremost for any disease that's a factor. If you have gum disease, we focus on removing bacterial plaque (the cause for the infection) from all tooth and gum surfaces. This helps stop gum recession, but advanced cases may require grafting surgery to cover the root surfaces.
You may also benefit from other measures to reduce sensitivity:Â applying less pressure when you brush; using hygiene products like toothpastes that block sensations to the dentin tubules or slow nerve action; and receiving additional fluoride to strengthen enamel.
There are effective ways to reduce your tooth sensitivity. Determining which to use in your case will depend on the cause.
If you would like more information on tooth sensitivity, 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 “Treatment of Tooth Sensitivity: Understanding Your Options.”
What your dentist in Aiea, Hawaii wants you to know
Tooth decay and cavities are common dental problems. Not too long ago, the solution was a metal filling, but times have changed! Today’s fillings are strong, but they are beautiful too! You can now have tooth-colored fillings, which blend perfectly with your smile. Dr. Gale Marana in Aiea, Hawaii wants to introduce you to the benefits of tooth-colored fillings and how they can restore your smile.
Tooth-colored fillings use composite, a resin material that starts out as a liquid. The unique consistency allows Dr. Marana to sculpt and shape the material along the natural contours of your teeth. Once the material is in place, it is hardened using a dental light. The end result is a restoration that can protect and enhance your smile.
There are many reasons why people love tooth-colored fillings. Consider that tooth-colored fillings are:
- Cosmetically beautiful, because the composite can be color-matched to your existing teeth, creating a beautiful blended look.
- Strong, because the composite is bonded to your tooth surface using etching material and strong cement.
Composite is a versatile material that is used for fillings and cosmetic dental treatments. It can be used to fill in cavities created by tooth decay, and it can also be used to hide unsightly aesthetic issues like discolorations, fracture lines, and defects in tooth surfaces.
Composite can also help to mask some of the early signs of an aging smile, and repair what bad habits, lifestyle, and wear-and-tear have done to your smile. You can choose tooth-colored fillings to repair:
- Decayed, broken, or damaged teeth
- Cracked, fractured, or chipped teeth
- Worn, eroded, or abraded teeth
Tooth-colored fillings have revolutionized dentistry by providing both strength and cosmetic beauty. Why choose an old-school metal filling when you can have a filling that enhances your smile? For more information about tooth-colored fillings and other dental services call Dr. Gale Marana in Aiea, Hawaii today!
Not coincidentally, GERD Awareness Week overlaps with the Thanksgiving holiday. Many people get acid indigestion from time to time, especially during this month of major feasting, but if you suffer from more than occasional acid reflux, you may be among the 20 percent of U.S. adults with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. For many individuals, painful heartburn often accompanies acid reflux; however, for others there are few or no symptoms. In the latter situation, dentists may be the first to suspect GERD based on what we see during a regular dental exam.
With GERD, acid washes up from the stomach into the esophagus or throat, and even into the mouth. If the condition is not treated, the repeated contact with acid can lead to ulcers and cause pre-cancerous cell changes along the esophagus lining. In addition, the acids can eat away at tooth enamel and harm the soft tissues of the mouth, which may result in severely eroded teeth and chronic gum disease. Unfortunately for those who have relatively minor symptoms, GERD may go undetected until serious damage has been done. For this reason, diagnosis and treatment of GERD is very important.
You can play a big role in managing your GERD symptoms. Besides taking any over-the-counter or prescription medication your doctor recommends, you can help control acid reflux by eating smaller meals, avoiding foods and beverages that trigger heartburn, refraining from eating within three hours of bedtime, and resisting the urge to recline right after eating. Also, quitting smoking and taking off extra weight can help greatly.
Further, it is important to take steps to protect your teeth if you suffer from GERD. Here are some tips:
- Neutralize acid by chewing on an antacid tablet or rinsing your mouth with half a teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a cup of water.
- Don't brush your teeth immediately after an episode of acid reflux, as this could damage the weakened tooth enamel. Instead, rinse your mouth with water to dilute the acid and wait an hour before you brush to allow your saliva to rebuild the minerals on the surface of your teeth.
- Schedule regular dental visits to monitor the health of your teeth and gums. Depending on your specific situation, we may recommend a particular treatment to help strengthen your teeth.
Our goal is to help you preserve your teeth for life, so be sure to tell us if you have been diagnosed with GERD or any other medical condition. If you have questions, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “GERD and Oral Health” and “Tooth Decay: How to Assess Your Risk.”
Porcelain dental veneers can subtly tweak a single, imperfect tooth or work to overhaul your entire smile in one fell swoop. Thanks to their versatility, dental veneers can help patients in a variety of dental situations. Find out more about dental implants and how they can help your teeth with Dr. Gale Marana in Aiea, HI.
What is a porcelain dental veneer?
Porcelain dental veneers fit over the surface of a tooth to cover its existing appearance and improve its look. Porcelain closely mimics a natural tooth’s light-reflecting qualities, color, and general appearance, making it the perfect material for a veneer. A dental laboratory customizes each veneer based on a clay impression of your mouth to ensure the most natural look and comfortable fit.
Am I a good candidate for porcelain dental veneers?
A good candidate for a porcelain veneer is in good general and dental health. They should also have no indications of teeth decay or gum disease. These conditions could cause complications for a veneer, meaning candidates should also have a strong at-home oral care routine and a commitment to seeing their dentist twice a year for routine dental examinations and cleanings.
Porcelain Dental Veneers in Aiea, HI
The process for dental veneers begins with a consultation with your dentist. This will ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure, and have realistic expectations for your results. Then, your dentist will prepare your teeth, take a clay impression of your mouth, and place temporary veneers on your teeth. These restorations help protect your natural teeth until the laboratory completes your veneers. At a second appointment about two weeks later, your dentist will remove the temporary veneers and replace them with your final restorations.
Caring for Your Veneers
Caring for your veneers is as easy as caring for your natural teeth. Simply brush twice daily and floss at least once to ensure that the bacteria and plaque which cause teeth decay remains at bay. Additionally, the American Dental Association recommends that everyone — regardless of age or dental condition — should see their dentist at least twice a year for routine dental examinations and cleanings.
For more information on porcelain dental veneers, please contact Dr. Gale Marana in Aiea, HI. Call (808) 488-7868 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Marana today!
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