Posts for: February, 2017
Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.
“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…
For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.
When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.
A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.
But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.
Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!
If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”
Losing your teeth at any age can be devastating and change the way that you approach people and situations. There are solutions to missing teeth including dentures. With the changes and improvements in technology, there are many options to choose from these days. Dr. Thomas Kemlage or Dr. Andrew Kelmage, your Fenton, MO, dentists from Kelmage Family Dentistry, work hard to bring all their patients the options they need to change their smile and inspire confidence.
What Dentures from your Fenton Dentist Can Do For You
If you are in the market for a beautiful smile and considering dentures it is important to understand your options. You may be looking at partial dentures or complete dentures. Partial dentures are used when you still have some remaining teeth. Complete dentures replace a whole section of teeth such as just the upper or the lower set of teeth. In addition, you will have several options for types of materials used to create the dentures. Dentures could be made out of a plastic or porcelain material depending on the quality that you are looking for and the type of care you want for your dentures. Dentures are cleaned by soaking them in a specialized cleaner. They are also affixed in the mouth with the use of a cream that both helps them stay put and that makes them more comfortable.
You can have a beautiful smile even if you are not able to do so with your natural teeth. If you have lost some or all of your natural teeth, you can find the smile you have always wanted with dentures. The first step is to contact your Fenton, MO, dentists, Dr. Thomas Kemlage or Dr. Andrew Kelmage from Kelmage Family Dentistry. Call us today at 636-225-1777 to learn more about how we can help you reach a new level of confidence with your smile.