My Blog

Posts for: December, 2016

By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
December 24, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
ChrissyTeigensTeeth-GrindingTroubles

It might seem that supermodels have a fairly easy life — except for the fact that they are expected to look perfect whenever they’re in front of a camera. Sometimes that’s easy — but other times, it can be pretty difficult. Just ask Chrissy Teigen: Recently, she was in Bangkok, Thailand, filming a restaurant scene for the TV travel series The Getaway, when some temporary restorations (bonding) on her teeth ended up in her food.

As she recounted in an interview, “I was… like, ‘Oh my god, is my tooth going to fall out on camera?’ This is going to be horrible.” Yet despite the mishap, Teigen managed to finish the scene — and to keep looking flawless. What caused her dental dilemma? “I had chipped my front tooth so I had temporaries in,” she explained. “I’m a grinder. I grind like crazy at night time. I had temporary teeth in that I actually ground off on the flight to Thailand.”

Like stress, teeth grinding is a problem that can affect anyone, supermodel or not. In fact, the two conditions are often related. Sometimes, the habit of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding) occurs during the day, when you’re trying to cope with a stressful situation. Other times, it can occur at night — even while you’re asleep, so you retain no memory of it in the morning. Either way, it’s a behavior that can seriously damage your teeth.

When teeth are constantly subjected to the extreme forces produced by clenching and grinding, their hard outer covering (enamel) can quickly start to wear away. In time, teeth can become chipped, worn down — even loose! Any dental work on those teeth, such as fillings, bonded areas and crowns, may also be damaged, start to crumble or fall out. Your teeth may become extremely sensitive to hot and cold because of the lack of sufficient enamel. Bruxism can also result in headaches and jaw pain, due in part to the stress placed on muscles of the jaw and face.

You may not be aware of your own teeth-grinding behavior — but if you notice these symptoms, you might have a grinding problem. Likewise, after your routine dental exam, we may alert you to the possibility that you’re a “bruxer.” So what can you do about teeth clenching and grinding?

We can suggest a number of treatments, ranging from lifestyle changes to dental appliances or procedures. Becoming aware of the behavior is a good first step; in some cases, that may be all that’s needed to start controlling the habit. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress — meditation, relaxation, a warm bath and a soothing environment — may also help. If nighttime grinding keeps occurring, an “occlusal guard” (nightguard) may be recommended. This comfortable device is worn in the mouth at night, to protect teeth from damage. If a minor bite problem exists, it can sometimes be remedied with a simple procedure; in more complex situations, orthodontic work might be recommended.

Teeth grinding at night can damage your smile — but you don’t have to take it lying down! If you have questions about bruxism, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”


By Thomas Kemlage DDS / Andrew T. Kemlage DDS
December 09, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
SeeYournewLookBeforeDentalWorkwithaTrialSmile

Digital computer technology has made a big impact on cosmetic dentistry. We can now simulate on a monitor display of your face how your new smile will appear after dental work, thanks to a graphics program specifically designed for cosmetic dentistry.

While that's an amazing development, we can also take it a step further by creating the look of a new smile on your actual teeth during an office visit. We call it a “trial smile.”

To create a trial smile, we begin with composite resin, a tooth-colored bonding material, and fashion it into temporary veneers or crowns that we then temporarily place over your teeth. This gives us the chance to see what your new smile will look like in all three spatial dimensions (rather than the two-dimensional view on a computer monitor) and while your face is in motion as you talk and smile. This can give us a great deal more detail to help better evaluate your proposed look.

A trial smile also helps us in planning your new look. Like you, we want the best result possible: a trial smile allows us to see how your jaw movement interacts with your updated look and if everything works together as it should. It will also give us a better idea how much tooth structure we'll need to remove to accommodate your permanent veneers or crowns — the less, of course, the better.

Although you won't be able to take your trial smile with you when you leave, we can take a photograph you can review later, as well as show friends and family for their opinion. Trial smiles do add some cost to treatment, but the proportion of expense to the benefit of actually viewing your smile in this fashion is well worth it. It's one more way we can ensure your final new smile meets your expectations.

If you would like more information on “trial smiles,” 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 “Testing Your Smile Makeover.”


By THOMAS KEMLAGE DDS / ANDREW T. KEMLAGE DDS
December 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

For many people, a smile they love is the key to feeling confident about the way they look. However, this may take some help from your cosmetic dentist. Cosmetic dentistry is an umbrella term for many procedures which can improve your smile both aesthetically and functionally. Find out more about cosmetic dentistry and what it can do for you with Kemlage Family Dentistry in Fenton, MO.

What procedures are considered cosmetic dentistry? 
Cosmetic dentistry in Fenton, MO, focuses on changing the look of your smile and, in some cases, can help improve its functionality as well. Some of the most common cosmetic dentistry procedures include:

  • Teeth Whitening: Teeth whitening can benefit almost anyone who wishes to give their smile a boost. We offer a simple dentist-monitored at-home whitening system. You wear a whitening tray that holds a bleaching gel and will gradually whiten your smile. This process is monitored by the dentist until the desired results occur. This bleaching gel is stronger than over-the-counter whitening products so you'll get a better result, and it can be refreshed if needed every 6 months or so to keep your teeth bright and white.
  • Veneers: Dental veneers change the size, shape, length, width or color of a tooth. The veneer itself fits onto the surface of a tooth and covers imperfections like yellowing or discolorations, chips, cracks and slight gaps or overlaps. Veneers can completely overhaul your smile to give you a totally different look or can simply repair a single damaged tooth to blend it back into your smile naturally.
  • Dental Implants: Dental implants replace a missing tooth and its root. This procedure is the most effective and permanent choice for replacing a tooth. Your Fenton dentist implants a titanium post into the jawbone where it integrates with the rest of your jawbone over time. Once healed, the implant holds a prosthetic tooth in place. Implants can also replace several teeth in a row using a dental bridge or all of your teeth using a denture.
  • Bonding: Dental bonding uses composite resin materials molded directly onto the tooth to reshape it. Bonding is a good option for patients who have an uneven or chipped tooth.
  • Braces: Orthodontic care is a great way to straighten your smile and correct bite issues. In the past, the only option for braces was with traditional metal brackets and wires. However, you can now choose from other, more subtle, options like tooth-colored ceramic braces or Invisalign aligner trays.

For more information on cosmetic dentistry, please contact Dr. Thomas Kemlage and Dr. Andrew Kemlage at Kemlage Family Dentistry in Fenton, MO. Call (636) 225-1777 to schedule your appointment today!