January 28, 2007

Designing perfect smiles for each sex

Once we have understood that all the phases of the restorative process are important we can focus on the design of an esthetic smile for you. We can check many fashion magazines with models with perfect smiles, but we do not have to stick to duplicating what is considered “perfect”.

The smile definitely has sexual connotations: It depends on the sex of the patient, so we have to analyze it according to that. Just by looking at the teeth (the entire mouth, actually), we can tell if it belong to a man or a woman.
For instance, a smile with dominant dental and lateral teeth, small incisors and straight angles, belong to a man.

In women, the predominant teeth are the central ones, leaving the laterals a bit relegated, and the incisors are accentuated because the angles are rounded. This is what makes women’s smile softer.

These features, proper of each sex, can not be exchanged, because the result would be a smile that does not go at all with the patient’s face.

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January 27, 2007

What we can call a perfect smile. Part I

Within esthetic dental parameters, the most important thing to understand is that teeth are not alone. They share the space with gums, lips and face. This entire environment has to be considered when deciding the size, shape and color of teeth.

For instance, when checking a dental mould we can not guess if they are teeth of a man or a woman just by looking at the teeth.

Gingival architecture

We can classify gingival architecture in:

  • Esthetic patrons
  • Non-esthetic patrons

The esthetic patron is the one that determine an imaginary line that connects the gingival margins of central and canine teeth, leaving the lateral teeth slightly under the line.

Small modifications (asymmetries) of this patron are sometimes acceptable, as long as the gingival margins of any tooth do not overpass this line.

When we visit the dentist because we don’t like our teeth, we sometimes can not say exactly why. For this, the dentist will make an analysis of the gingival architecture to get better result for your smile makeover.

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January 15, 2007

Fix bridges

Porcelain fix dental bridges constitute a complex treatment since not only esthetics is taken into account, but also the functionality of the bridge (bite). The neighboring teeth around the empty space are trimmed around 1.5 mm in all their sides to place a crown.
f you have a missing dental piece it means you will a bridge of three units or crowns, two for support and one that is missing. Once these pieces are collocated, the dentist applies dental cement on the pillar teeth. The most important thing is that the patient keeps a good dental cleaning.

For dental bridge placing, there have to be considered physical aspects and acknowledge of the restoring materials. Not all cases require a fix bridge. For instance, for cases when there are many dental pieces missing, this is not recommendable. They can not be placed on molars or teeth that are not in good conditions. It may be that one piece is strong to hold on to the mouth, but it is not strong enough to hold on to the others.

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January 12, 2007

Tooth extraction. Part II

Will it hurt?

Anesthesia prevents pain during the procedure, but you may feel some pain in your jaw once the effect of the anesthesia has passed.

Possible complications

- Infection
- Excessive bleeding of dental fossa.

Postoperative care

- Bite firmly but softly the dressing placed by the dentist on the fossa. This will help you reduce bleeding and will allow the formation of a blood clot in the tooth fossa.
- If the bleeding continues, replace the dressing wit a new and folded one in 20 to 30 minutes intervals. On the contrary, leave the dressing in its place from 3 to 4 hours.
- It is important not moving the blood clot off the injury. Do not spill or rinse your mouth strongly in the first 24 hours.

- Do not smoke
- Do not let food particles cover the injury.
- Do not use straws during the first 24 hours
- To ease swelling, apply an ice bag immediately after the procedure in the affected area.
- Rinse your mouth 24 hours after the surgery using a solution of ½ teaspoon (8 ounces) of warm water.
- Keep on brushing and using dental floss between your teeth, this will help preventing infection in the tooth extraction place.
- Have a soft or liquid diet during the first 24 hours.
- Avoid hassle during the first 24 hours after surgery. In the first and second day after the surgery just perform limited activities.

During the first 24 hours after the dental extraction it is normal having some bleeding and swelling. The initial healing period normally takes from 1 to 2 weeks. New dental tissues will grow inwards the gums, bone and fossa.

Having a slack tooth can lead to push aside the other teeth, biting inadequately or biting difficulty. Your dentist may try restoring the area with a dental implant, fix bridge or fake denture.

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January 11, 2007

Tooth extraction. Part I

Body parts envolved
 Teeth

 Gums
 Jaw bones

Reasons for a dental extraction
Although many teeth can be saved with modern dental techniques, some still have to be extracted. Teeth extractions can de necessary in these situations:

- Teeth is too damaged or with cavities to be saved by endodontia.
- The tooth’s nerve is infected.
- The tooth is preventing the normal dental growth.
- The tooth is loose because of a periodontal disease.
- Loss of support bone, gums or tissues

Risk factors due to complications during the procedure
- Smoking
- Blood or heart disease.
- High blood pressure
- Alcoholism
- Bad nutrition
- Use of medication without medical prescription (tell your dentist of any medication or supplement you have been taking in the last month).

What to expect

Before the procedure
- Mouth radiography
- Blood and urine test

During the procedure
General or local anestesia

The procedure
If the tooth is damaged, the dentist will remove the gum and the bone tissues to unveil the tooth. Using forceps, the dentist will hold the tooth and will make it twist smoothly forwards and backwards. This action releases the tooth of the alveolar bone and breaks the ligaments that attach the tooth on its place. The tooth is pulled off, and a blood clot is formed in the empty space. The dentist will put a dressing on it, and occasionally he/she will make some stitches on the gum borders.

After the procedure
It is analyzed the extirpated tissues, bone and blood.

How much it lasts?
Around 20 minutes. More time for damaged teeth.

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January 02, 2007

Fake teeth or dentures

What dentures are?

Dentures replace missing teeth and surrounding tissues in the forms of a removable dental device of acrylic resin or of a metal combination.

What are the types of fake dentures?

There are four types of fake teeth:

Complete: Replaces all teeth and surrounding dental tissues.

Partial: This type of dentures acts like a dental bridge, since it fills the empty space between the teeth and the missing teeth.

Conventional: Conventional dentures allows a recovering time (generally from 4 to 8 weeks) after the extraction of all teeth before placing fake teeth.

Immediate: This does not allow a healing time after teeth extraction. Dentures are immediately placed in the mouth. Additional adjustments may be needed as long as the healing advances.

Fake teeth care

- Take out your dentures everyday and brush it gently with a special toothbrush and toothpaste for dentures.

- If the prosthesis has holding clips, clean them in and out carefully.

- Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners and hot water because this can seriously harm it.

- If partial dentures are in their place, take them out before brushing the natural teeth.

- Once fake teeth are clean, dip it into cleaning solution or water and keep them in safe place.

- Visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning.

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