My Blog

Posts for: August, 2016

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
August 18, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

You want to look your best for that once-in-a-lifetime moment — like your wedding day. It can also take time and effort: many people spend months losing weight or trimming up at the gym. But while you’re getting the rest of your body ready for the big event, don’t forget your smile.

The best approach is to make a plan that addresses your smile’s shortcomings — a “smile makeover,” if you will. And the best place to begin is with us, your family dentist. We’re already familiar with your dental health status, so we can advise you on what’s possible and best for you.

We can also provide many of the services that enhance smile appearance. If your teeth are relatively healthy and attractive, a thorough dental cleaning or a whitening application can revive your smile’s brightness just in time for the big day. And for minor defects like a chipped tooth or discolored old fillings, we can bond the latest tooth-colored materials to those unsightly areas. And any of these procedures can be performed in one visit.

Installing porcelain veneers is an effective way to restore more moderate tooth defects. These thin outer coverings with life-like color, shape and texture can effectively hide mild to moderate chipping, discoloration or slight gaps between teeth. Teeth with more extensive damage can be completely covered with a crown made of similar life-like materials. Either of these solutions could match the shape and color of nearby teeth.

By planning well enough ahead, you may also benefit from more extensive cosmetic changes. Missing teeth always pose a challenge, but there are a number of viable options: fixed bridges using adjacent teeth; various denture solutions, including implant-supported removable overdentures; and the dental implant, the rising star for dental restorations that replaces both the root and crown with a durable, life-like tooth. There are also orthodontic solutions for misaligned teeth (at any age!) and surgical procedures for gums that help restore lost tissue or correct a “gummy” smile showing too much of the gums.

Whatever your needs, there’s a way to make your smile more attractive. It’ll be all the more reason to display it confidently on your special day.

If you would like more information on smile transformations, 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 “Planning Your Wedding Day Smile.”

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
August 11, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crowns  

Ready to learn more about this popular dental restoration and how it can help you?

Dental crowns have become a pretty standard way to repair damaged teeth. After all, they are durable and look just like natural teeth, so dental crownsthere are a lot of benefits to choosing dental crowns. Of course, our Fenton, MO dentists Drs. Thomas and Andrew Kemlage get a lot of questions about dental crowns and perhaps you have some of your own. Here are some of the most common dental crown questions revealed!

Q. What is a dental crown?

A. This hollowed-out tooth-like restoration is made to fit over your tooth to improve its overall durability, appearance, and function. When a crown is cemented into place it fully covers the visible portion of the tooth.

Q. Why might my Fenton general dentist recommend a dental crown?

A. There are many scenarios for which a dental crown might be the best option:

  • To protect a decaying, infected or injured tooth
  • To restore a tooth that is broken or severely worn
  • To protect a tooth that cannot support a large filling
  • To anchor a dental bridge into place
  • To improve the appearance of a discolored or misshapen tooth
  • To cover a dental implant (to replace a missing tooth)

Q. What goes into getting a dental crown?

A. You will have to go through several appointments in order to get a traditional dental crown in Fenton. The first visit will be the consultation and treatment-planning phase, in which we determine that a crown is right for you.

The second visit will require use to prepare your tooth for your new crown. Under local anesthesia, we will file down the tooth to make room for the crown.

Impressions and molds are taken of your smile so that a dental laboratory can get the exact measurements of your teeth from which to create the perfectly fitted crown. To protect your prepared tooth from damage while your crown is being made a temporary crown will be placed over the tooth.

Once fabricated, you will come back in so we can remove the temporary crown, check the fit of the permanent crown and then cement it into place.

Q. What are dental crowns made out of?

A. Crowns can be made from everything from metal amalgam to tooth-colored porcelain. Metal crowns are often used for back teeth because they are a bit stronger.

Q. How long does a crown last?

A. This will depend on the material they are made of and how well you maintain you oral health. Your at-home care routine is important to keeping your crown healthy for up to 10 years or more.

Still didn’t get one of your questions answered? Then it’s time you turned to the source. Contact Kemlage Family Dentistry in Fenton, MO today to find out whether crowns are right for you.

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
August 03, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”