Cosmetic Dentistry Blog

A mid-aged chick about cosmetic dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry – and why you hear more about it nowadays

Since I have started this blog, I read more about the great importance of cosmetic dentistry in general. I have no idea weather it was a coincidence or those dental topics started to draw my attention more, but surely I felt that everyone was talking about teeth.

 

Expressions like “Smile Design”, “Smile Makeover” and “Hollywood Smile” are bombarded towards us on a daily basis, suggesting that we are not accepted or can not ever be successful in our carrier or private life without a perfect smile.

Even Google bombarded me with SERP and Facebook ads, while I was doing some research within this topic.

A cosmetic dentist is a dentist with special skills and experiences within the orthodontic dentistry, being able to offer tailor-made individual treatment plans to suit just your needs and budget. Your dental treatment is customized, you can choose to simply whiten your teeth, or minor teeth adjustments, as well as more complex treatments to reach that “Hollywood” smile.

It is so hard to believe that these movie stars have (had) as bad teeth as we, ordinary folks.

Rebuilding my smile sounds surely very tempting, it seems that they have got so much to offer, but no-one seems to mention the risks or the side effect, as I suspect there are many. I am worried about all those things that can go wrong when a surgical intervention is done.

The cosmetic dentistry prices had got totally out of control, it is so difficult to find prices to start with (everyone is referring to individual price setting after the first dentist visit), or the costs for cosmetic dental surgery usually vary significantly between the dentistries.

Cosmetic Dentistry London had become a very hot topic in the media lately, there are a large number of leading dental practices located on Harley Street, offering expert dental services, such as:

  • general dentistry services
  • Dental hygienist and gum treatments
  • Teeth straightening and teeth whitening
  • Teeth replacements with bridges, implants or dentures
  • Emergency dentistry

Are you in need of some dental treatments, a  cosmetic dentist London can surely assist you, while you can keep your costs down as there is a great price competition down there right now due to the multitudinous foreign dental surgeon  settlers, mostly coming from Eastern European countries, forcing the prices down.

These dentistries are all providing very relaxing and advanced dental cosmetic environments and offering you the possibility of having everything done totally painless with analgesic solutions.

I recently read about something really weird: the gum lift. My first thought was: WTH? If someone’s gums overshadow particularly small teeth, he/she can do gum lift, which claims to be a very simple treatment, where they destroy the unwanted gum tissue safely and hygienically with a small and very accurate laser. They claim that although the  discomfort lasts for a few days after their appointment, this should settle down very soon. -  All I can say is that this sounds VERY painful to me! I have no idea how you guys feel, but burning away gum tissues is just too much for me to think of right now…

Is this really needed?

So, how do I feel about cosmetic dentistry? I am tempted BUT skeptical.

 

Do you think that we need a perfect Hollywood smile to prevail our professional and private lives? Do you agree with all these advertisements being hailed over us every single day?

I would appreciate your comments below!

 

Dental treatment – everyone needs it sooner or later {???}

Well, this is what dentists say. I read on a dental page lately, that even if you can not see any cavities on your teeth, you should book a dental checkup, because there are probably treatments you could have.

WTH ?

In my interpretation, it means that if you are symptom free, they will surely find something to treat (and get payed for).

So, let me tell you what made me write about this.

The thing is that I recently met a friend of mine that I had this “long time, no see” issue with, and I was shocked AND amazed by the look of his. He had apparently got all of his teeth fixed for a lots of money. And by fixed, I don’t mean just filled, but he had got all of them redone with veneers and lumineers. He told me that he had some new implants too where they couldn’t save his own teeth. He has spent disgusting amount of money on his new look and bought himself a brand new shiny convertible car too. You don’t even have to ask about his age. :) He is around 40, the first typical age to be seized with fear of getting old.

This is quite common, I usually smile at men when they do this, but this time, apart from him, making me smile, he got me thinking. He said something I have noticed too. He said:

“DO NOT EVER go to the dentist and let them TREAT you unless you are in pain! Even if it is a simple treatment according to the dentist. If your teeth are touched, you are on your way down the hill, and sooner or later you’ll end up having false teeth, veneers, or implants.”

I confess. I have bad teeth. Although you can not tell, because all of them are fixed. my teeth are bad, ’cause my parents didn’t took care enough of my teeth when I was a kid (they were careless about their own teeth too). When I was a teenager, I realized how important healthy teeth were, I collected all my strength and visited a dentist.

Since then I’ve got all my teeth fixed, and I’ve been going to dental checkups twice a year. The funny, yet interesting thing that I observed was, that every single time I went there, my dentist found something that she, by all means had to fix.

And once she drilled and filled my tooth because of some tiny little cavity spot she could see through her magnifying glass, my tooth got worse, and in some cases I needed root canal or a crown eventually. I am not trying to blame it all on her, but it is hard not to ocberve any coherency here.

I may have some issues with health care in general, besides I try to avoid it, I do not have such a big confidence in doctors and hospitals. I know, what you’re gonna say now :) , that I should trust them, they are devoted to cure and their professional calling is to save lives, and they are one of the most appreciated people in our society (and the lawyers, and the judges, etc.).

According to me, doctors do not deserve more appreciation than other people. I mean not because of the work they do. I do believe that a plumber or an engineer is as important as a doctor, what would we be doing with soiled water flowing on our streets, without all kinds of engineering solutions that make our lives easier, and even without our commonly disrespected dustmen? Where would we be without them?

I suspect that some people would conceivable feel offended now, after reading this, although my intention was not to hurt anybody, but to tell my opinion about values that I do not always agree with.

 

What do YOU think? Do you think that we should put more values to particular professions? Do you trust your dentist? Do you let him/her treat a tooth unless it hurts?

 

 

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Sorry about the commenting session that is not working right now. I have some issues with WordPress discussion settings right now, I had to close comments on old posts as I received thousands of spam comments daily, and now it seems like I can not do any more settings to comments, not even on fresh posts :( . Please, be patient with me, I am working on the issue.

Dental bridge – as seen in old ladies’ mouths

I don’t know why, but I have the feeling that having dental bridges is kinda’ old fashioned. What I mean is that it is not very popular nowadays to have them installed in someone’s mouth.

 

So to start with, what is a dental bridge?

A tooth bridge is a dental restoration that is used to replace a missing tooth by joining adjacent teeth or dental implants. A dental bridge can be installed on the front teeth, although this is not so pretty (this is my personal opinion).

 

Why are these teeth bridges used?

A teeth bridge is often used to restore your smile, your ability to properly chew and speak or bite properly by replacing missing teeth. You might wonder how can a dental bridge work, but it can surely prevent remaining teeth to drift out of position too.

 

What types of dental bridges are available?

Mainly there are 3 main types of dental bridges:

  • A traditional bridge (not a city bridge though :) ) is a a crown for the tooth or implant on both sides of the missing tooth, with a bridge in between. Traditional bridges are the most common in dental practice and are made of either porcelain fused to metal or ceramics.

 

  • A cantilever dental bridge is used when only one adjacent tooth is available next to a missing tooth or teeth. With this solution, you end up having a neat fixed bridge.

  • Resin-bonded bridge are made of plastic and it is supported by a metal framework. It has metal wings on each side, that are bonded to the existing teeth. Usually this solution is implemented, when a temporary dental bridge is needed. At a further dentist visit this temporary bridge is going to be changed to a permanent bridge for teeth. The reason why these temporary solution is needed is to find out if the patient develops some dental bridge problems.

 

What more can we find out about the dental bridge procedure?

During your first visit, your two adjacent teeth are filed down, and a sample is taken using  a special paste to make an impression of the teeth space where the bridge is needed. This procedure is pretty much the same as the dental crown practice. Using this sample, the dental bridge is fabricated by a technician or an automatic software driven machine.

At your second visit, your new, permanent bridge is checked and adjusted, to ensure proper fit. In case you are receiving a traditional bridge, it is temporarily cemented in place by the dentist for some weeks of time in order to be able to do some further adjustments if needed. If everything is found alright, the bridge can be permanently cemented to your adjacent teeth.

 

How much does dental bridge cost?

The cost of dental bridge varies depending on the type/material that the bridge is made of and the area where the procedure is performed. The dental bridge price can increase big time in case you are choosing a golden or a gold-plated one. Dental insurance is most likely paying part of the tooth bridge cost, but don’t forget to check your own insurance and individual dental plan.

 A shiny golden brigde someone? :)

Do you recognize easily if someone has bridges for teeth? Is it ugly? Or how can you tell that someone has tooth bridges?

When installing a bridge teeth must be filed down drastically even if they were totally healthy before. So this is why I find this procedure kinda’ old fashioned.

Dental crown – Is it worth destroying your teeth for it?

For most of us a tooth crown sounds like something painful. Why would anyone like to install some crowns on teeth? How come that tooth crowns cost so much? Here is some info in case you wonder:

What is a dental crown?

So what is a tooth crown? In general dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over the teeth – covering them to restore their shape and size, strength, and to improve their appearance.

 

How is the dental crown procedure done?

First of all your teeth, that are to be crowned are filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the dental crowns.

After reshaping the tooth, your dentist will use a special paste to make an impression of the tooth. These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory where the crowns are manufactured. Getting a dentistry crown back from the laboratory usually takes at least a week.

During the tooth crown procedure, these teeth crowns are cemented into place by using a special dental adhesive for crowns. After the dentist crown installation, the over-floating dental crown cement is removed. I can tell you, this is quite an unpleasant procedure (Iknow this by experience).

Sometimes a temporary dental crown is needed, that is constructed from a chemical-cure composite material that allows easy removal when fitting the final crown on tooth. These temporary crowns are replaced later by permanent tooth crowns that are constructed by a dental laboratory.

In some cases a so called root canal crown is installed in order to give the tooth additional strength. Yes, you can pretty much state that root canal and crown is a very often experienced combination.

It is very usual to experience dental crown pain after this dental practice, but usually it disappears after some days as you get used to it.

 

What kind of materials can crowns be made of?

Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or ceramic. Applying golden or titanium inner layer is quite usual too in order to prevent allergic gum reactions to metal. Some people prefer having full gold tooth crown or nickel or chromium crowns for teeth. Basically you can choose from a wide selection, such as porcelain crowns, cerec crowns, zirconium crowns, procera crowns and ceramic crowns, that can make the cost of dental crown pretty high.

How much do dental crowns cost?

As mentioned before, the dental crown cost depends on the material used. A simple porcelain crown is much cheaper than a gold crown tooth for example, but on the other hand who is willing to get a gold dental crown nowadays? No ordinary person with an ordinary life, I believe. For some of us, the tooth crown cost is just too much and therefore we choose having the decayed tooth extracted instead. Remember that you’ll always pay more for a zirconia / zirconuim crown or procera crown, than a porcelain bonded crown such as porcelain jacket crown, or other all ceramic crowns. These dentist crowns are all very expensive, but you shouldn’t only choose after the cost of a crown, but make sure that you take eventual allergies into consideration too.

In case you wonder, read more about crowns and bridges here.

 

To me, filing down your teeth means a total damage that you are doing, and makes this procedure completely irreversible. This is why I wonder: Is it worth destroying your teeth for it? Do you have any experience with tooth crowns?

Root canal treatment – What is so controversial about it?

So why am I asking this?

Obviously because I have done root canal filling twice already despite my “young” age.  By the time the dentist told me that it can not be avoided, I just accepted her opinion and received root canal fillings. But now I hear more and more about avoiding the root canal procedure as long as it is possible. Maybe my root canal retreatment was not such a good idea after all?

Here are some facts:

  • What is a root canal? A dental root canal is the space within the root of a tooth that consists of the pulp chamber.

 

 

  • Why is this root canal surgery needed? In case you develop some kind of root canal symptoms such as great pain upon chewing, sensitivity to cold or warm, tenderness or swelling or pimple on the gum, you might need to undergo the root canal process as it can be a sign for a tooth root infection.

 

  • What is root canal treatment? In case of root canal problems, the procedure involves removing inflamed or damaged tissue from inside a tooth and cleaning, filling and sealing the remaining space with a material that prevents bacteria from re-entering. At the next appointment, the temporary filling will be replaced with a permanent filling or crown. This “beautiful” tool is used for pulp removal:

 

  • Does a root canal hurt? In case the dental root canal treatment is performed carefully, you’ll only suffer pain from local anesthetic injection before the procedure.

 

  • How much is root canal therapy? The cost of root canal treatment is usually higher than an ordinary tooth filling because the dentist only uses a temporary filling after the tooth root removal, and after some weeks of a healing period, the tooth must be filled with some final composite material. In general we can say that the root canal treatment cost is approx. the double of what an ordinary filling would cost. A lot of people think that the root canal price is high like hell, but it is relieving to know that the “frightening” root canal costs less than we first would think at least.

 

 

They claim that this one is a neat picture of a human pulp, but I just find it nasty.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a discolored front tooth after the root canal.

 

 

You shouldn’t have any problem finding a good root canal specialist in London, as there are so many of them there, although the root canal prices may vary on a larger scale. Root canal dentistry is not a special department, it can be performed by any dentist really, you won’t need to look for a “root canal dentist” or a “root canal specialist”. :D

So here is what I think: A tooth without its pulp is like a tree without its roots that eventually darkens and dries out. Now I am even more confused and scared. What have I done? Am I exposed to all those root canal complications now? I am scared despite the dentists claim that although the pulp is removed, the tooth remains alive, nourished by surrounding bond and gum tissues. Well-well, we’ll see about that. :(

 

 

Have you ever had a root canal? Do you have any recommendations on where to have the root canal treatment procedure done in London?

Have you experienced any discoloration of the tooth? Did you ever needed to replace the tooth canal filling due to unexpected root canal pain?

 

Dental bonding – Can a dental bonding fall off the front tooth when biting into an apple?

Yeah, this is my big concern after everything I had recently found out about dental bonding.

Dental bonding procedure is used for restoration of broken, chipped or miss-shaped teeth, using a composite tooth-colored material, which can be stuck or bonded directly onto the tooth surface. This is often called composite bonding procedure because of the material that is used.

How it is done, when bonding teeth in general:
  • the surface of the tooth is roughened and a conditioning liquid applied which makes the composite material stick better to the tooth surface (often using phosphoric acid)
  • your dentist prepares the resin material in just the right shade that matches your natural teeth
  • to harden the material, an ultraviolet light or laser is used
  • when the material is hard enough, your dentist makes further adjustments to it by trimming, shaping and polishing it

In general you can say that the whole tooth bonding procedure won’t take longer than an hour (per tooth) and it lasts several years.

The dental bonding cost might vary depending on where you live, but generally it is from £30 to £400 per tooth in UK. I suggest you to check with your dental insurance company (if you have one) to find out if this procedure is covered or not.

Bonded teeth do not seem to require any special care. They say that you should simply follow good oral hygiene practices.

But still I wonder, is the bonding material strong enough to hold when I bite into a hard and juicy apple? How come that we do not hear so much about teeth bonding yet? Why are dentists not offering that solution more often?

Lumineers – they sound like some kind of a religious sect to me…

When I first read about lumineers, my first thought was that it was some kind of a deep religious sect, or a bunch of wizards making all kind of tricks and magic with their wands. I read some of the lumineers reviews out there, and found out this:

A lumineer is an ultra-thin (approximately 0.2 mm) and highly translucent porcelain veneer that replicates the natural appearance of the enamel. They are so thin that little to no tooth reduction is necessary when installing them on your teeth.

It is surprisingly a pain-free way to reshape and permanently whiten your teeth, and there is usually no post placement discomfort or sensitivity occurring.

These dental lumineers cost quite a bit as most dental insurance providers will not cover the costs of such procedures.  I found places and prices using the “Lumineers UK”, “Lumineers cost UK” and “Lumineers London” search terms in Google, and realized that most of the prices are given as “On request”, but generally I found prices around € 1.000 for each lumineer. I guess this price can be much lower per tooth if you are buying a whole set of them. :)

The installation process takes only 2 visits to your dentist, in which the lumineers are bonded to the facial (front) surface of the teeth, making the process totally reversible as the dentist is not grinding or filing down any tooth enamel. They seem to be durable too, they last over 20 years!!! This is what they say at least…

I am pretty skeptical by the way, how come that a 0.2 mm thin glued shell can take more than my own teeth? And what about the top part that goes right under the meat around the tooth? Would it not get irritated, or get inflammation eventually? What if my body won’t accept the material?

I know. I ask silly questions and I worry maybe a bit too much, but I need to know everything about everything. otherwise I don’t feel that I am in total control.

 

Do you have lumineers installed in your mouth? If yes, was it really painless when bonding them on? Did you feel discomfort or strange after the installation was ready? Did they feel like your teeth got bigger in your mouth?

 

Sensitive teeth – why is it such a sensitive topic?

People don’t talk about their sensitive teeth. What’s even worse, they do not do much about it. There are so many of us suffering from this, I never thought that sensitive teeth causes discomfort and pain for my close family members. Why are people suffer and not talk to someone about their problem?

 

I used to have quite a miserable life for a short period. My teeth became sensitive to food, cold or warm beverages and the meat around some of my teeth suffered from inflammation.  This basically happened after I got crowns for two of my teeth at the same time.

Having them filed for a week and living a normal life was such a pain for me. I hoped that after I receive my crowns, the pain would disappear instantly. I was wrong. having these very sensitive teeth, ruined my daily life. I could not eat or smile.

Then I decided to search the Internet (as I am addicted to all kind of dental news anyways), and learned a lot, facts and sensitive tooth remedies (even home remedies) that I couldn’t imagine before. In one of my previous posts you can read about some of my experiences about sensitive teeth treatment.

Having sensitive teeth after filling is not unusual either, usually the filling makes tooth sensitive to heat or cold, but normally the sensitivity disappears after some weeks.

As teeth whitening could lead to sensitive teeth too, I am not sure that I would let my teeth getting bleached ever. :)

This is what I do to cure and to avoid getting sensitive teeth again. I have spread this information across my family and friends, and some of them had already said that it worked for him/her. I give you the product names I use as well. (I am not sure if this counts as advertisement, but I am satisfied with them.)

  • I floss after every meal.

 

  • I use a toothpaste that contains both fluor and vitamine A.

 

  •  I brush my teeth twice a day (morning and evening) using my ultra soft toothbrush. During the day I rely on dental floss.

 

  • I rinse with a mouth water especially made for sensitive teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had wondered a lot about the causes of sensitive teeth, and came to a point to realize that any kind of dental intervention can make your teeth sensitive. Before the dentist fills your tooth, some drilling is necessary and with that your tooth is damaged, some nerves may get disclosed, and no matter that they fill it immediately, you find yourself worrying: – Why is my tooth sensitive to cold or heat?

But you should remember, most of the time, there is a cure for sensitive teeth, no matter how much you already given up hope. In case my advices don’t help, you should go and see a dentist, I am pretty sure that the causes of your condition is most likely treatable or at least manageable throughout your life.

 

Do you have experiences with sensitive teeth remedies? Please, share them!

 

Teeth straightening – Is it an option for me as an adult?

Some years ago, after I got one of my teeth filled, still sitting in the dentist’s chair I happen to ask my dentist about teeth straightening possibilities in my age. I have crowded teeth that makes cleaning them difficult, and I have an overbite too :( . She told me immediately that it would be quite a big risk taking as she can not guarantee that the jawbones would harden again around the teeth roots, after making them soft with this treatment, and I risk to loose all of my teeth. Wow! This statement of hers scared me big time. So I kinda’ accepted my situation, I understood that I had to live with my crowded teeth for the rest of my life…

I wish that my parents took care of my teeth better when I was a kid, before my jaw bones hardened, and I wish they took me to the dentist for getting braces. I guess that teeth straightening cost too much for them at that time, or they did not even think about it. The other thing is that I still can remember, it was a shame having those braces when we were young, everyone laughed at kids who had those. This is probably the reason why adults in my age have such uneven and crowded teeth. I believe that it is a shame!

Having braces nowadays is socially more acceptable method for straightening teeth for teenagers, but some of them feel uncomfortable wearing them, but as I realize it, it became some kind of a status symbol or it is just cool wearing these very visible braces. So I guess it won’t be any problem getting my children braces.

I found out recently that teeth straightening without braces was possible, using some kind of a high technological, individually produces clear-braces that you can put on an take off yourself as many times as you just wish.

A cool example for straightening teeth without braces is Invisalign aligners:

 

 

But I still wonder: do I still risk that I loose all of my teeth as this makes my teeth loose in my jawbones during the straightening procedure?


 

 

 

Wisdom teeth – Is it wise of me to have them removed?

I knew that this day sooner or later I would end up here, having this huge decision to make. Shall I choose the wisdom tooth removal procedure or not?

I have had problems with my wisdom teeth for a long time now, generally I would say since I became 25 years old. I am not sure if this was the time I got wise (hehe), but by that time my wisdom teeth started to grow out of nothing, giving me huge wisdom tooth pain. I was in pain, my jaws hurt and I experienced sharp pain in the meat around the wisdom tooth that was in the growing process at that time.

 

By that time I was desperately seeking for some natural wisdom tooth pain relief, but I always ended up using mouth rinse water with some kind of local pain killer effect. Having wisdom teeth pain was ruining my days big time to be honest, I was unable to eat or even talk. I was desperate to find pain relief. I knew that these were typical wisdom tooth symptoms, but I was so afraid of going to the dentist!

 

I have read that poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone, or even the nerves! Partially erupted wisdom teeth can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location makes brushing and flossing difficult. This freaks me out totally! I Googled on some pictures to, I.AM.IN.SHOCK. LITERALLY!

 

The other thing that upsets me is the unwanted outcomes of the wisdom teeth removal. I am so stupid, I shouldn’t have searched on this topic at all. Swollen cheeks, broken wisdom teeth during surgery is very common and they lead to more complicated surgical procedures, but damages of the jaw bone, nerve and tissue damages can happen too.  What if I choose the wisdom tooth extraction and I suffer nerve damages, making me unable to chew or talk properly for the rest of my life????? Or if the wisdom teeth extraction gives me a hole in my cheek? Surprisingly I read about that too…. :( Oh, man.

A single wisdom tooth extraction cost more than a normal tooth extraction, because it needs special preparations and it is done in a surgical seat involving at least 2-3 persons (dentists, nurses) at a time in order to be able to prepare for some unwanted events, such as bleeding or any kind of extraction difficulties. So that is why the cost of wisdom teeth removal is higher and the operation must be planned carefully in advance.

A year ago the meat around my wisdom teeth became white and irritated. It seemed to be in the way every time I closed my mouth. SO that is why my dentist offered to remove them. But I am hesitating. And I so can tell you that it is not the wisdom teeth removal cost that is stopping me. It is the risks. Would you take these risks? Do you usually look for the risks of a medicine or a surgery?