FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do teeth become discolored?
What is a veneer?
What is a crown?
What is a bridge?
What are white fillings?
What is bruxism?


How do teeth become discolored?
Over time, your teeth darken as minerals penetrate their outer enamel layer. This darkening can be caused by foods and beverages that stain, such as coffee, colas, tea, red wine or berries. Tobacco products, like cigarettes, cigars and chewing tobacco, can cause teeth to take on a yellowish brown hue. The natural aging process can also cause your teeth to darken.

We can prescribe a home whitening system that will safely lighten these stains, giving you a whiter, brighter smile!


What is a veneer?
A veneer is a thin shell of porcelain or plastic that is bonded to a tooth to improve its color and shape. A veneer generally covers only the front and top of a tooth. Veneers can be used to close spaces between teeth, lengthen small or misshapen teeth, or whiten stained or dark teeth. When teeth are chipped or beginning to wear, veneers can protect them from damage and restore their original appearance.


What is a crown?
A crown is a prosthetic placed over an existing tooth to create a smoother, cleaner look and enhance strength and durability. When a tooth is fractured, has an outdated filling, or is severely damaged by decay, the placement of a crown may be recommended. Crowns strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure and can improve the appearance of your smile. Types of crowns include the full porcelain crown, the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown and the all-metal crown.

The crown restores the appearance of your teeth and can affect the muscles in your face. A crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned; it will also make sure that other teeth don’t shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.


What is a bridge?
When tooth loss occurs, your dentist may recommend the placement of a bridge. Designed to replace missing teeth and support surrounding teeth, a bridge is a grouping of interconnected crowns. Held in place by two crowns, a bridge can reduce the risk of gum disease, help correct bite issues and even improve speech. If performed by a well-trained cosmetic dentist, bridges are effective and durable and can last in excess of 10 years.

A tooth-colored bridge may be made of both porcelain and metal, or, thanks to newly available technology, it may be made entirely of porcelain.


What are white fillings?
Until recently, silver amalgam was the material most often used to restore decayed portions of your teeth, especially back teeth. Unfortunately, silver fillings can really darken a smile! Dental research has resulted in the development of new tooth-colored material that are not only durable and long lasting, but attractive as well.


What is bruxism?
Bruxism is the clenching or grinding of your teeth while you are asleep. It is not just an annoyance; it exerts thousands of pounds of pressure on the biting surfaces of the teeth, which can lead to jaw pain and damage to your teeth, as well as to the surrounding bone, gums and jaw joint.

 

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