Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Dental Health and Veneers

Dental veneers (sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve your appearance. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth changing their color, shape, size, or length.

Dental veneers can be made from porcelain or from resin composite materials. Porcelain veneers resist stains better than resin veneers and better mimic the light reflecting properties of natural teeth. Resin veneers are thinner and require removal of less of the tooth surface before placement. You will need to discuss the best choice of veneer material for you with your dentist.

What Types of Problems Do Dental Veneers Fix?

Veneers are routinely used to fix:

Teeth that are discolored -- either because of root canal treatment; stains from tetracycline or other drugs, excessive fluoride or other causes; or the presence of large resin fillings that have discolored the tooth
·      Teeth that are worn down
·      Teeth that are chipped or broken
·      Teeth that are misaligned, uneven, or irregularly shaped (for example, have craters or bulges in them)
·      Teeth with gaps between them (to close the space between these teeth)

What's the Procedure for Getting a Dental Veneer?

Getting a dental veneer usually requires three trips to the dentist – one for a consultation and two to make and apply the veneers. One tooth or many teeth can simultaneously undergo the veneering process described below.

Diagnosis and treatment planning. This first step involves active participation between you and your dentist. Explain to your dentist the result that you are trying to achieve. During this appointment your dentist will examine your teeth to make sure dental veneers are appropriate for you and discuss what the procedure will involve and some of its limitations. He or she also may take X-rays and possibly make impressions of your mouth and teeth.

Preparation. To prepare a tooth for a veneer, your dentist will remove about 1/2 millimeter of enamel from the tooth surface, which is an amount nearly equal to the thickness of the veneer to be added to the tooth surface. Before trimming off the enamel, you and your dentist will decide the need for a local anesthetic to numb the area. Next, your dentist will make a model or impression of your tooth. This model is sent out to a dental laboratory, which in turn constructs your veneer. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for your dentist to receive the veneers back from the laboratory. For very unsightly teeth, temporary dental veneers can be placed for an additional cost.

Bonding . Before the dental veneer is permanently cemented to your tooth, your dentist will temporarily place it on your tooth to examine its fit and color. He or she will repeatedly remove and trim the veneer as needed to achieve the proper fit; the veneer color can be adjusted with the shade of cement to be used. Next, to prepare your tooth to receive the veneer, your tooth will be cleaned, polished, and etched -- which roughens the tooth to allow for a strong bonding process. A special cement is applied to the veneer and the veneer is then placed on your tooth. Once properly position on the tooth, your dentist will apply a special light beam to the dental veneer, which activates chemicals in the cement causing it to harden or cure very quickly. The final steps involve removing any excess cement, evaluating your bite and making any final adjustments in the veneer as necessary. Your dentist may ask you to return for a follow-up visit in a couple of weeks to check how your gums are responding to the presence of your veneer and to once again examine the veneer's placement.

What Are the Advantages of Dental Veneers?

Veneers offer the following advantages:
·      They provide a natural tooth appearance.
·      Gum tissue tolerates porcelain well.
·      Porcelain veneers are stain resistant.
·      The color of a porcelain veneer can be selected such that it makes dark teeth appear whiter.
·      Veneers offer a conservative approach to changing a tooth's color and shape -- veneers generally don't require the extensive shaping prior to the procedure that crowns do, yet offer a stronger, more aesthetic alternative.

What Are the Disadvantages of Dental Veneers?

The downside to dental veneers include:
  • The process is not reversible.
  • Veneers are more costly than composite resin bonding.
  • Veneers are usually not repairable should they chip or crack.
  • Because enamel has been removed, your tooth may become more sensitive to hot and cold foods and beverages.
  • Veneers may not exactly match the color of your other teeth. Also, the veneer's color cannot be altered once in place. If you plan on whitening your teeth, you need to do so before getting veneers.
  • Though not likely, veneers can dislodge and fall off. To minimize the chance of this occurring, do not bite your nails; chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects; or otherwise put excessive pressure on your teeth.
  • Teeth with veneers can still experience decay, possibly necessitating full coverage of the tooth with a crown.
  • Veneers are not a good choice for individuals with unhealthy teeth (for example, those with decay or active gum disease), weakened teeth (as a result of decay, fracture, large dental fillings), or for those who have an inadequate amount of existing enamel on the tooth surface.
  • Individuals who clench and grind their teeth are poor candidates for porcelain veneers, as these activities can cause the veneers to crack or chip.

How Long Do Dental Veneers Last?

Veneers generally last between 5 and 10 years. After this time, the veneers would need to be replaced.

Above article from:

Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Monday, 27 February 2012

Teeth Whitening

Many teeth whitening systems are available, including whitening toothpastes, over-the-counter gels, rinses, strips, and trays, and whitening agents obtained from a dentist.
Teeth whitening is ideal for people who have healthy, unrestored teeth (no fillings) and gums. Individuals with yellow tones to their teeth respond best. But this cosmetic procedure is not recommended for everyone.

Find out if teeth whitening is right for you.
·      Whitening Systems
·      Whitening Toothpastes

All toothpastes help remove surface stains because they contain mild abrasives. Some whitening toothpastes contain gentle polishing or chemical agents that provide additional stain removal effectiveness. Whitening toothpastes can help remove surface stains only and do not contain bleach; over-the-counter and professional whitening products contain carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide that helps lighten the color deep in the tooth. Whitening toothpastes can lighten your tooth's color by about one shade. In contrast, light-activated whitening conducted in your dentist's office can make your teeth three to eight shades lighter.

Over-the-Counter Whitening Strips and Gels

Whitening gels are clear, peroxide-based gels applied with a small brush directly to the surface of your teeth. Instructions generally call for twice a day application for 14 days. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about four months.

Whitening strips are very thin, virtually invisible strips that are coated with a peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips are applied twice daily for 30 minutes for 14 days. Initial results are seen in a few days and final results are sustained for about four months.

Whitening Rinses

Among the newest whitening products available are whitening rinses. Like most mouthwashes, they freshen breath and help reduce dental plaque and gum disease. But these products also include ingredients, such as hydrogen peroxide, which whiten teeth. Manufacturers say it may take 12 weeks to see results. You just swish them around in your mouth for 60 seconds twice a day before brushing your teeth. However, some experts say that rinses may not be as effective as other over-the-counter whitening products. Because a whitening rinse is only in contact with the teeth for such a short time -- just two minutes a day compared to 30 minutes for many strips -- it may have less of an effect.

Tray-Based Tooth Whiteners

Tray-based tooth whitening systems, purchased either over-the-counter or from your dentist, involve filling a mouth guard-like tray with a gel whitening solution -- which contains a peroxide-bleaching agent -- and wearing the tray for a period of time, generally from a couple hours a day to every day during the night for up to four weeks and even longer (depending on the degree of  discoloration and desired level of whitening).

In-Office Whitening

In-office bleaching provides the quickest  way to whiten teeth. With in-office bleaching, the whitening product is applied directly to the teeth. These products can be used in combination with heat, a special light, and/or a laser. Results are seen in only one, 30- to 60-minute treatment. But to achieve dramatic results, several appointments are usually needed. However, with in-office bleaching, dramatic results can be seen after the first treatment. This type of whitening is the most expensive technique. 

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Effects Last?

Teeth whitening is not permanent. People who expose their teeth to foods and beverages that cause staining may see the whiteness start to fade in as little as one month. Those who avoid foods and beverages that stain may be able to wait one year or longer before another whitening treatment or touch-up is needed.

The degree of whiteness will vary from individual to individual depending on the condition of the teeth, nature of the stain, the type of bleaching system used, and for how long.

Above article from:

Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist's Chair?

Does the thought of having your teeth cleaned make your entire body tense with fear? Would you rather endure the agony of a toothache than step foot in a dentist's office? You're not alone. A lot of people are so phobic about going to the dentist that they prefer not to have any treatment.
For people who avoid dentists like the plague, sedation dentistry may take away some of their anxiety. Sedation can be used for everything from invasive procedures to a simple tooth cleaning. How it's used depends on the severity of the fear.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. It's sometimes referred to as "sleep dentistry," although that's not entirely accurate. Patients are usually awake with the exception of those who are under general anesthesia.

The levels of sedation used include:
·      Minimal sedation -- you are awake but relaxed.
·      Moderate sedation (formerly called "conscious sedation") -- You may slur your words when speaking and not remember much of the procedure.
·      Deep sedation -- you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
·      General anesthesia -- you are completely unconscious.

What Types of Sedation Are Used in Dentistry?

The following types of sedation are used in dentistry:

·      Inhaled minimal sedation. You breathe nitrous oxide -- otherwise known as "laughing gas" -- combined with oxygen through a mask that's placed over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist can control the amount of sedation you receive, and the gas tends to wear off quickly. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive yourself home after the procedure.

·      Oral sedation. Depending on the total dose given, oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, which is a member of the same drug family as Valium, and it's usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you'll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to actually fall asleep during the procedure. They usually can, though, be awakened with a gentle shake.

·      IV moderate sedation. You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so it goes to work more quickly. This method allows the dentist to continually adjust the level of sedation.

·      Deep sedation and general anesthesia. You will get medications that will make you either almost unconscious or totally unconscious -- deeply asleep -- during the procedure. While you are under general anesthesia, you cannot easily be awakened until the effects of the anesthesia wear off or are reversed with medication.

Regardless of which type of sedation you receive, you'll also typically need a local anesthetic -- numbing medication at the site where the dentist is working in the mouth -- to relieve pain if the procedure causes any discomfort.

Above article from:

Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Friday, 3 February 2012

Dentist North Little Rock AR - Springhill Dental: Why are my teeth sensitive after dental work?

Dentist North Little Rock AR - Springhill Dental: Why are my teeth sensitive after dental work?: Well, apparently I have this weird thing about sensitive teeth and can’t quit talking about them. In my last blog, I discussed some common c...

Why are my teeth sensitive after dental work?

Well, apparently I have this weird thing about sensitive teeth and can’t quit talking about them. In my last blog, I discussed some common causes of teeth sensitivity. You can read it here. I want to continue with the discussion on tooth sensitivity and discuss the most common reasons why teeth can be sensitive after dental treatment.
Trust me, we hate it too!
I hate patients having pain after dental work. It’s so frustrating when a patient didn’t have pain with their teeth before we worked on them, but then the teeth hurt afterwards. I wish we dentists could do all of work without causing pain to our patients. Unfortunately, that just isn’t always the case. In this post I want to discuss some of the possible causes of pain after dental work
Pain after Fillings or Crowns
The first and most common cause of pain is an irritated nerve in a tooth after a deep filling or crown. Like I mentioned in my previous blog post, teeth have three layers: enamel, dentin, and pulp. The pulp is an open chamber that contains nerves and blood vessels. Anytime we do work on a tooth, such as crowns, fillings, and veneers, we can irritate the nerves. When these nerves become irritated, they become hypersensitive. The usual result is the tooth hurts when you eat or drink something hot or cold. Generally the deeper the decay, the more likely the tooth is to hurt. However we can’t always 100% predict when your teeth will be sensitive after dental work. I love to use the following analogy to describe pain after dental treatment. Teeth are like cups of water. Every time work is done on a tooth, you pour water into that cup. And you can’t predict when that cup will run over and cause pain to the patient because every patient is different and ever tooth is different. I can do a large, deep filling on one person, and the tooth will never hurt. I can do a smaller filling on another person, and their tooth will hurt. I can even do several deep fillings on the same person, and maybe one tooth will hurt but the others won’t.
The next question the patient usually asks when they have pain after doing a filling or crown is when will the pain stop? If the decay was not into the pulp, then most likely it will calm down in less than a month. Usually it’s even a shorter time than that, probably less than two weeks. However, once again, every tooth is different and every person is different. Sometimes, even if we don’t enter the pulp when we are removing decay, the nerve may still become too irritated and never heal. When this occurs, unfortunately the tooth will require a root canal or have to be extracted.
Another possible cause of pain after fillings or crowns is if the restoration is too “high.” When a dentist place a filling or crown, we always try to adjust it to where your bite is the same as it was before we did the work. In other words, we want the upper and lower teeth to contact each other in the same place with the same amount of pressure as they did before we did the work. By nature most dentist are perfectionists, and we try our best to do perfect work for every patient every time. However we are also human and we don’t get it perfect every time no matter how hard we try. Sometimes the new filling or crown may not be adjusted properly and may hit harder than the other teeth. Most often the result is pain with chewing or biting down. Occasionally the tooth can have hot or cold sensitivity. If this is the problem, it is usually a simple fix of adjusting the filling or crown to lessen the pressure on the tooth when you bite.
Sensitivity After Cleanings
Another time a person may have pain or sensitivity after dental work is having hot or cold sensitivity after having their teeth cleaned. This is usually more common after deep cleanings. How can teeth be sensitive after cleanings? If you read my last blog post, you will remember that the teeth have less insulation over the roots. They also have microscopic open tubules in the dentin that radiate from the pulp. When the ends of these tubules are open on the root, the tooth is more likely to have sensitivity. In the process of cleaning your teeth along the gumline, oftentimes a very, very slight layer of the root is removed. This usually only occurs when a patient has deep cleanings done. And it’s actually a good thing we do this. The reason is because bacteria and their toxic byproducts can infiltrate into the tubules. So when the hygienist cleans the tartar and buildup off the teeth, she also has to remove that thin outer layer that contains the bacteria. Unfortunately this may leave open tubules that lead to sensitive teeth. My most common choice of treatment is sensitivity toothpaste combined with prescription fluoride toothpaste. This combination will most often clog the tubules, decreasing the sensitivity.

This is a microscopic image of the dentinal tubules with bacteria inside them.

We’re Here to Help!
Like I said previously, we dentists really do hate for our patients to have pain after dental work just as much as our patients do. And it’s like I tell my patients, if you don’t tell us you’re having a problem, we don’t know it. So if you are having pain with your teeth or mouth, please inform your dentist. We will do our very best to educate you on the causes of your pain and offer treatment to help.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Teeth Whitening Dentist

Teeth Whitening – Dazzling Results!
It’s natural to want brighter teeth! Whiter teeth are healthier looking, and easier to achieve than most people think. The only way to get your teeth their whitest is by using a professionally supervised bleaching process. Dr. Shearer offers custom whitening trays, made in his own lab. You will receive supplies and instructions and you finish the procedure at home. This technique is safe and effective. Results occur within 1 - 14 days.

Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

NTI Device - Migraine Headache Treatment

Do You Regularly Suffer From Tension or Even Migraine Headaches?
Have We Got a Solution for You!
You may have heard Diane Sawyer discuss this on Good Morning America, or maybe you’ve seen this in People magazine. The FDA approved a drug-free treatment for the prevention of migraine and tension headaches called the NTI™ device. NTI DeviceIt works by relaxing the muscles under the scalp and preventing the majority of headaches. Clinical trials showed that 82% of migraine sufferers achieved a 77% reduction in migraine events. It’s painless, fast, and NOT expensive. If you experience migraines or know someone who does, be sure to ask us about this exciting new treatment.

Springhill Dental, PLLC
3401 Springhill Drive, Suite 285
North Little Rock, AR 72117
Telephone: (501) 955-0155