Time for another commonly asked question… whitening and cosmetic dentistry. Our smiles are hugely vital to how we feel and how we express ourselves. A smile can be an amazing window to souls, not unlike our eyes. It is my job to make sure you are happy with your smile and confident to show those pearly whites.
So, what are some options to enhance our smiles, you may ask? Beyond orthodontics and braces, general dentists can whitening and reshape teeth to make our smiles bright and engaging.
You’ve heard of bleaching, veneers and crowns. Well, lets talk about those options. Bleaching or whitening is one of the easiest ways to enhance your natural teeth. We have a few options regarding whitening but the most effective option is actually low dose hydrogen peroxide with consistent use. The foods we eat everyday can stain our natural enamel. Drinks like red wine, coffee, teas, and soda are notorious for staining teeth. That means daily whitening via custom trays or white strips will provide consistent results. It also lessens the sensitivity one experiences when using whitening products.
You may be thinking, Dr. Wang, what if I have a wedding or special engagement tomorrow and can’t wait. Well, we have an option for that as well. It’s called in office whitening. In office procedures take about an hour and can create a noticeable difference right away. Think of it as 2 or 3 weeks worth of trays in one hour. They may be the right solution for your needs. The caveat is sensitivity increases dramatically.
Our solution can combine the two approaches or focus directly on one or the other. The most effective is personalized to your needs.
In the weeks ahead, keep an eye out on the W Dental website for more tips for beautiful teeth!
-George Wang, DDS
So, a commonly asked question is wisdom teeth. What are they and what do we do about them.
Lets start off with what they are. They are back teeth known as molars. We technically call them “3rd molars” and they are the very last teeth we have. Long ago, we had larger jaws that allowed us to have 32 teeth with no problems. However, we have smaller jaws now and a majority of the population has no room for these wisdom teeth.
What happens when we have no room, what happens to these teeth? Well, they get stuck. This is called impaction. Impactions have different types but all impacted teeth are stuck- most of the time under the gum tissue and in our bone. They don’t help us eat and they have zero function when they are impacted. In fact, impaction can cause problem- often time pain and possibly infection.
So, what do we do about impacted teeth, we want to avoid pain and infections. We remove them. Oral surgeons are specialists that remove these teeth and can put you to sleep.
Some wisdom teeth are not impacted. These teeth look like any other teeth in our mouths. What then? Well, it becomes a matter of how easy they are to maintain clean, cavity, and infection free. If your brushing and flossing habits are good, sometimes we can leave them alone. However, if bacteria is constantly building up around them, it is recommended we remove them as well.
So, how do I know if I need them extracted? Well, first step is to take a panoramic xray and my staff and I will go over the xray and give you our recommendations. Best tip is to get the diagnosis early, as removing teeth is less risky when you are young, and eliminate issues down the road.
-George Wang, DDS
So, you may be thinking to yourself what an implant have to do with teeth and what we are talking about. I know, when you hear the word “implant” most think about medical and cosmetic applications.
Well, implants have come to the world of dentistry and its making people with missing teeth a newfound way to smile. Just like the name implies, we implant a fake tooth to add function and beauty to your smile. So, why are they so great? Well, they are basically the closest thing we can get to natural root and tooth. It is essentially a “man made” tooth.
An implant is placed into the bone and mimics what a natural root would do. The implant’s specialized material (titanium), actually makes connections with your bone and over time, fuses and integrates with the bone. It allows us to essentially add a new root and from there a beautiful tooth made of ceramics and titanium.
The beauty of an implant is it is the most natural feeling and realistic looking option available. It allows us to recreate your smile the way mother nature would have made it- with a root and tooth that is held by your jaw. It is very different than bridges or removable dentures because those methods don’t add a “man made” root and thus not as effective and beautiful as an implant. Please come into the W Dental we will give you the latest and greatest way to recreating the perfect smile you deserve.
-Dr. George Wang