Posts for: April, 2019
Teenagers and adults alike can improve their smile appearance with dental solutions like teeth whitening or orthodontics. But there are a few cosmetic solutions like porcelain veneers that are better suited for more mature teeth.
Veneers are composed of thin layers of dental porcelain that are bonded to the outside of teeth. They're kind of a tooth "mask" that hides blemishes like chips, discoloration or mild bite problems. They're often less involved and expensive than other types of dental restoration.
Even so, we usually need to remove some of the natural tooth's enamel before applying them. Veneers placed directly on unprepared teeth can appear bulky, so we remove some of the enamel to create a more natural look. And although usually only a slight amount, the alteration is permanent and will require the tooth to have some form of restoration from then on.
This usually doesn't pose a major issue for adults, but it could for a teenager's younger teeth. The nerve-filled dentin in a teenager's still developing tooth is thinner and closer to the pulp (nerve tissue) than in more mature teeth.
There's at least one situation, though, where veneers might be applied safely to a teenager's teeth without this concern. If the teen has abnormally small teeth and are receiving veneers to improve their appearance, they might not need alteration. Because the teeth are already thinner than normal, the "no-prep" veneers may not look bulky when directly bonded to them without preparation.
With most cases, though, it might be best to pursue other options that at the very least can make a cosmetic difference until their teeth are mature enough for veneers. For example, we might be able to repair chipped areas with composite resin material that we form and bond to the tooth to achieve a life-like appearance.
We can discuss these and other options for safely improving your teenager's smile. The important thing is to achieve a more confident appearance without endangering their future health.
If you would like more information on cosmetic treatments for teenagers, 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 “Veneers for Teenagers.”
Could puffy gums be the first sign that you have gum disease?
It's an unfortunate reality that many Americans end up dealing with gum disease every year. It's even more unfortunate that many of them don’t even know it until they visit our Lake Oswego, OR, dentist, Dr. Colin Smith, for a regular checkup! Of course, there are some warning signs that may alert you to the fact that your gums aren’t as healthy as you may have thought. Some of the common symptoms of gum disease include:
- Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
- Red, swollen gums
- Gums that are tender to the touch or sore
- Receding gums (teeth may appear longer than usual)
- Persistent and unexplained bad breath
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Changes in your bite
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important that you schedule an appointment with our general dentist in Lake Oswego, OR. A simple oral exam is often all that’s needed to pinpoint gum disease. Plus the sooner gum disease is detected, the easier it is to treat.
Early Treatment is Key
While the goal should always be to prevent dental issues from happening in the first place, if there is something going on, it’s important that we find it early on. In fact, if gum disease is caught during the early stages when it’s still just gingivitis, it can actually be reversed. This is why it’s a good idea to turn to us at the very first sign that your gums have changed.
If gingivitis isn’t treated this can lead to full-blown gum disease. In more advanced and serious cases, untreated periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss and bone damage.
How to Prevent Gum Disease
There are simple everyday measures that you can take to ensure that your gums remain healthy. Proper oral hygiene is key, so make sure to brush and floss on a daily basis to reduce gum disease-causing plaque and bacteria. You should also visit your dentist every six months for cleanings and checkups. As we mentioned earlier, sometimes gum disease doesn’t cause symptoms, so coming in for these checkups is the only way to catch it early on.
Concerned? Give Us a Call!
Our Lake Oswego, OR, dental team wants to make sure that your gums get the proper care they need. No matter whether you need to schedule a routine cleaning or you are looking for ways to effectively manage your gum disease, call Lake Oswego Smiles today at (503) 635-3653.