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Posts for tag: Porcelain Veneers

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
February 17, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
December 05, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Smile ImageWhat’s the difference between these two popular cosmetic procedures?

When you are considering a dental makeover, you have to go through the list of cosmetic treatments to truly find out which one would be best for your smile. After all, there’s really no need to go through lengthy, more invasive procedures if all you’re looking for is a minor tweak.
If you’ve been trying to decide whether dental veneers or dental implants in Pittsburgh will give you the smile you’re looking for, here are the major differences between these two procedures to help make your decision process a bit easier.

What aesthetic problems do implants and veneers fix?

A dental implant is used to restore missing teeth and isn’t used to fix more minor dental flaws. Those with tooth loss should weigh the pros and cons of getting dental implants, as they are a long-term restorative treatment. Veneers, on the other hand, are thin tooth-like shells that go over the front of a tooth to cover minor imperfections like cracks, chips, small gaps, overcrowding and severe stains that whitening treatments can fix.

What is the dental implant procedure like?

Dental implants are used to mimic a tooth’s root; therefore, it is embedded into the jawbone to hold an artificial crown in place. This means that the procedure itself is more invasive than it would be for veneers. Before the crown is even placed on the implant, the patient’s mouth is given a few months to heal properly after the implant is inserted. Over time the gums and bones will fuse around the implant, making it a permanent structure within the mouth.

What should I expect from my veneer treatment?

Veneers don’t require much preparation and the procedure doesn’t take nearly as long. Before we put on the veneers, we will shave about ½ millimeter of your tooth’s enamel to accommodate the extra size of the veneers (you don’t want them to look bulky!). Then we will match the veneers to the rest of your smile before adhering them to the front of your teeth. A special laser is used to harden the resin that will permanently bond the veneers to your teeth. Since we do shave down some of your natural tooth, this procedure is considered irreversible.
Implants are used for more serious situations like tooth loss while veneers are more commonly used because they can fix a host of dental problems without surgery. If you want to find out which procedure would be best for your smile, call us so we can get you in for a consultation. We would be happy to further discuss your dental options with you!
By John Sartorio, D.M.D.
April 17, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures

Is there anything that radio and TV personality (and self-proclaimed “King of All Media”) Howard Stern doesn’t want to talk about in public? Maybe not — but it took a caller’s on-air question to get the infamous shock jock to open up about his own dental work.

When he was directly asked if his teeth were capped, Stern said no. “I redid ‘em [some time] ago… I had bonding and um… veneers… over my real teeth. But I don’t get that ‘Hollywood white’ though,” he said, before adding his uncensored opinion on the subject of proper tooth shades.

As we’re sure Stern would be the first to point out, everyone has a right to their own opinion. But we’re pleased that Howard brought up an important point about veneers: They are custom-made in a whole range of different shades, from a more ‘natural’ tooth color to a brilliant white shine. Which one you select depends on what look is right for you — and that’s your choice.

In case you aren’t familiar with veneers, they are fingernail-thin coverings made of porcelain, which are bonded onto the surfaces of the teeth. This enables them to hide a number of defects — like chips, discoloration, and even small irregularities in spacing. They can also be used to lengthen teeth that seem out of proportion to the gums, lips or other facial features.

Veneers are among the cosmetic dental treatments most favored by Hollywood stars… as well as regular folks who want a dramatic improvement in their smile. Unlike crowns (caps), which generally require extensive reshaping of the tooth, standard veneers require the removal of just fractions of a millimeter of tooth surface. That makes them a minimally invasive method of smile enhancement that can make a big difference in your appearance. In fact, veneers are often a major part of a complete “smile makeover.”

Dental veneers are custom made in a laboratory from a mold of your teeth. They are designed to fit your teeth perfectly — and to be just the shade you want. When you come in for a consultation, we will discuss what you like and don’t like about your smile, and how we might improve it. Will you opt to get the brilliant “red-carpet” smile you always wished for… or go for a subtle, more natural tooth color? Only you can decide.

Howard Stern’s veneers may be the most restrained thing about him… but we’re just glad that veneers helped him get the kind of smile he wanted. You can, too. If you would like more information on dental veneers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more about this topic in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”