Posts for: May, 2017
Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”
Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.
A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:
- Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
- Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
- Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
- Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.
If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
A focus on dental care in senior citizens is just as important as it is for children. Indeed, oral health in your later years can be a major factor in your quality of life.
For one, aging effects on other parts of the body can make dental care more challenging. Some hygiene tasks once performed easily become harder — arthritis, for example, or loss of muscle strength may make it difficult to hold a toothbrush or floss. In such cases, you may need to find new ways to make the task easier: a power toothbrush with a larger handle; pre-loaded floss holders or a water flosser; or adaptations to a manual brush to make it easier to hold, like attaching a tennis ball or bike handle.
Other age-related conditions — and their treatments — can negatively impact oral health. Less saliva production, which is a consequence of aging or certain drugs, increases the risk of tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. Older adults often develop gastric reflux problems that can introduce tooth enamel-eroding stomach acid into the mouth. And medications called bisphosphonates, often prescribed to treat osteoporosis, may interfere in rare cases with bone healing after tooth extraction or similar procedures.
Prior dental work can also prove challenging to treating dental disease. It becomes more difficult to preserve teeth threatened with decay if there are significant restorations or appliances to work around. Pain perception can also diminish with age, so that dental disease may not be noticed until later stages when significant damage has already occurred.
Oral care requires more attention as we grow older, or as we care for older family members. Your best defense against disease is to continue regular six-month visits with us. In addition to normal cleanings and checkups, we’ll also screen for oral cancer (a more prevalent occurrence in older adults), review your prescriptions or other supplements and medications for any possible side effects to oral health, check the fit of any dentures or other restorations and evaluate the effectiveness of your hygiene.
While other age-related conditions may capture the majority of your attention, you shouldn’t allow that to neglect your dental care. With your continued efforts, along with our support and your family’s, you can continue to enjoy good oral health throughout your lifetime.
The following dental restorations and procedures are all ones you've likely heard of before. However, many of Dr. Dana Cuculici's patients at Carrollwood Dental in Tampa, FL, aren't familiar with the exact reasons behind them, especially if they've never received one before. Dr. Cuculici and her staff want all their patients to understand the procedures they need; here are some helpful details about crowns, bridges, dental implants and root canals.
When damage has left the health of a tooth too precarious to survive on its own, crowns from your Tampa dentist can restore its function and appearance. They cover up a tooth that has significant decay or breakage but still has an intact root system. Crowns, which can be made of porcelain or metal materials, seal off the tooth from further damage and allow normal function again.
Besides fixing dental damage, crowns are the anchors of bridges, which fill in gaps from missing teeth. The bridge is a restoration made of an artificial tooth (or teeth) that is held securely in place by crowns on either side. The crowns are affixed to healthy natural teeth to give the bridge extra support. The result is a complete and beautiful smile!
Another option for restoring missing teeth is through the installation of dental implants. Your Tampa dentist inserts a tiny metal post into your jawbone where a missing tooth once was, replicating its root. The jawbone naturally grows back around the post, securing it into place and allowing the rest of the implant - the abutment and the crown - to be attached. Dental implants are the most long-lasting and realistic tooth restorations available today.
This dental procedure has a bad reputation for all the wrong reasons. Your dentist, Dr. Cuculici, assures each of her patients that root canals are a helpful, not harmful procedure. They restore teeth by removing the inner tissues that have been affected by decay or injuries, allowing a natural tooth to remain in place. Most teeth with root canals require a crown to finish them off and protect the tooth from any more problems.
If you need one of these treatments, or to learn more about them, contact Carrollwood Dental in Tampa, FL! We'd be happy to help you!