Our teeth are one of the first things people see when they meet us, and having a great smile is important to make a great first impression. It’s possible today to fix a wide range of dental problems so that everyone can be happy with their smile. A better smile can also lead to better self-esteem, and will make you want to smile more – and our world could use more smiles.
Here, we consider some common dental complaints, their possible causes, and typical treatments. You may discover that the solution to your problem might be simpler than you thought.
There are many people who get crooked teeth over time. Sometimes, they simply grow in that way. In other people, they shift over the years until they are no longer aligned well. Having well-aligned teeth isn’t just a cosmetic issue. A bite that’s well-aligned can also make it easier to chew and talk. If you have crooked teeth, there are new ways of straightening them that are perfect for many patients.
Clear Aligners are a great way to straighten teeth without the need for hardware to be installed on the teeth as with traditional braces. Many people take time to consider getting aligners vs braces, and aligners are increasingly winning the debate. They are comfortable to wear and do an effective job at helping with many different problems such as tooth crowding, spacing, overbites, underbites, and crossbites.
Teeth can become broken in a number of ways. It often happens when biting into something hard, but it can also happen because of an impact injury, or simply because the tooth is unhealthy and starts to break off. There are two possible fixes for broken teeth. The best one for you depends on how much of the tooth is broken off.
When the tooth has only a small area that is broken off, getting dental bonding can be effective. This is a substance that is added to the tooth so that it goes back to the shape it had before. The dental bonding added to the tooth will be mixed so that it precisely matches your tooth. No one can tell that the tooth has been repaired. If more of the tooth is broken off, the tooth may need a crown to replace it. This fits over what is left of the tooth so that the tooth looks whole again.
If you have a tooth that is highly painful, it may be an infection and should be treated by the dentist. If the tooth is painful, the problem is likely to be the nerves within it that are being adversely affected. Depending on where the pain is and how severe it is, it may only be a filling that’s needed. Cavities can cause toothache, and these are resolved by drilling out the decayed area and filling it back in with a tooth-colored filling.
If the pain is more severe, it can be the nerve being severely affected and dying. In this case, a root canal is often performed, if you have strong roots for the affected tooth – as the existing roots will be used to support a crown after the affected portion of the tooth is removed. If the tooth is severely painful and doesn’t have good roots, removing the tooth may be needed.
If you have a tooth missing, you aren’t alone. It’s highly common for people to be missing one or more teeth. Teeth can be lost because of severe decay, because they are affected by gum disease, or it may be a baby tooth that doesn’t have a permanent one underneath it. Whatever the reason for losing a tooth, there are a number of great ways that you can have the tooth replaced. Which one you choose will depend on your personal preferences and budget.
Many times, if there are a lot of teeth missing, patients opt for dentures or a partial denture to replace them. These may be the removable type that the patient takes off at night for cleaning, or they may be a permanent set. Permanent dentures are supported by dental implants that the dentures snap onto. This type of implant is called a mini-implant and is smaller than those used for just one tooth. These dentures can only be removed by the dentist and are cleaned just as you would with natural teeth.
If there is only one tooth missing, or a few teeth, you might opt for individual dental implants to replace them. When you get an individual dental implant, is a larger implant that is made to support only one tooth. The implant is done in stages and often requires a bone graft to be done to create thicker bone to hold the implant. That heals for a few months, and then a titanium post is implanted into the jaw.
After a few months of that healing, the crown can be placed on top of it. The crown will look completely natural and will be indistinguishable from the other teeth.
It’s common for teeth to get stained over the years. This can be made worse by drinking coffee, tea, red wine, and other dark liquids or by smoking. When this is the case, teeth can usually be whitened by teeth-whitening kits that can be purchased over the counter or from a dentist directly. The kits available from the dentist have whitening ingredients that are more highly concentrated than what you can get over the counter. This usually means more thorough whitening and quicker whitening.
There are also other causes for deep staining of teeth, and these are not as easily fixed. There are a number of medications, including several antibiotics, that can stain the teeth darkly. This can also happen if fluoride is used excessively or the teeth have been injured or otherwise had trauma to them. When the cause of the staining is one of these, the stains generally can’t be fixed by whitening kits. It will require treatment from the dentist. This may be veneers or a similar treatment that covers the front of the teeth and has its own non-stained color that will take the place of your tooth color.
Many people complain of having greater tooth sensitivity, and this can cause a lot of pain. There are many possible causes for your sensitivity, and there are a number of ways to fix it. The first step would be to switch to toothpaste made for sensitive teeth and a softer toothbrush if possible. You should also see the dentist in case the cause behind the sensitivity is something that requires treatment.
You may need a fluoride treatment to strengthen your enamel, a filling, or even a root canal, depending on the cause.
If you have problems with your teeth, seeing the dentist or orthodontist can help to determine why you’re having these problems and what can be done about them. Whether you need a filling, a root canal, an implant, whitening, aligners, a simple change of toothpaste, or some other treatment, there is a good fix available for your specific dental problem.