Posts for: June, 2016

By Wilmington Dental Associates
June 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

Do you wish you could snap your fingers and have a whole new smile? If so, you can do just that with dental veneers. These versatile veneersdental restorations have a dramatic effect, meaning you will not only look great but feel great, too. Learn more about dental veneers with your Wilmington, DE dentists Dr. Anthony Vattilana and Dr. John Lenz at Wilmington Dental Associates.

What are dental veneers? 
Dental veneers are a dental restoration which fit over the front of the teeth to mask their imperfections. This super-thin shell of porcelain can give you a totally new and improved smile or simply repair your existing smile’s imperfections. A dental laboratory customizes each veneer based on a mold of your mouth taken at your dentist’s office. The lab also takes care to color-match your veneers so they blend seamlessly in with your natural teeth.

What can veneers do for me? 
Veneers can repair many dental issues in addition to changing the look of your teeth. Dental and cosmetic issues which benefit from veneers include:

  • cracked teeth
  • chipped teeth
  • discolored or yellowed teeth
  • teeth which are too wide or long
  • slightly overlapping teeth
  • slightly gapped teeth
  • oddly shaped teeth
  • uneven teeth

Dental Veneers in Wilmington, DE
Before placing your veneers, your dentist must prepare your teeth. This means removing a tiny amount of enamel, usually no more than half a millimeter, from the teeth’s surfaces. This makes room for the width of the veneer and gives the bonding materials a rougher surface on which to grasp. With the teeth prepared, your dentist makes a mold of your mouth and sends it to a dental laboratory. Since the lab takes several weeks to create the restorations, temporary veneers protect your prepared teeth until the finished products arrive at your dentist’s office. At your second appointment, your dentist fits and adheres each veneer permanently to your teeth.

For more information on dental veneers, please contact Dr. Vattilana and Dr. Lenz at Wilmington Dental Associates in Wilmington, DE. Call (302) 654-6915 to schedule your appointment for a consultation for dental veneers today!

By Wilmington Dental Associates
June 21, 2016
Category: Oral Health

When you’re among the top players in your field, you need every advantage to help you stay competitive: Not just the best equipment, but anything else that relieves pain and stress, and allows you to play better. For top-seeded Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic, that extra help came in a somewhat unexpected form: a custom made mouthguard that he wears on the court and off. “[It helps] to not grind my teeth while I play,” said the 25-year-old up-and-coming ace. “It just causes stress and headaches sometimes.”

Mouthguards are often worn by athletes engaged in sports that carry the risk of dental injury — such as basketball, football, hockey, and some two dozen others; wearing one is a great way to keep your teeth from being seriously injured. But Raonic’s mouthguard isn’t primarily for safety; it’s actually designed to help him solve the problem of teeth grinding, or bruxism. This habitual behavior causes him to unconsciously tense up his jaw, potentially leading to problems with muscles and teeth.

Bruxism is a common issue that’s often caused or aggravated by stress. You don’t have to be a world-class athlete to suffer from this condition: Everyday anxieties can have the same effect. The behavior is often worsened when you consume stimulating substances, such as alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, and other drugs.

While bruxism affects thousands of people, some don’t even suspect they have it. That’s because it may occur at any time — even while you’re asleep! The powerful jaw muscles that clench and grind teeth together can wear down tooth enamel, and damage both natural teeth and dental work. They can even cause loose teeth! What’s more, a clenching and grinding habit can result in pain, headaches and muscle soreness… which can really put you off your game.

There are several ways to relieve the problem of bruxism. Stress reduction is one approach that works in some cases. When it’s not enough, a custom made occlusal guard (also called a night guard or mouthguard) provided by our office can make a big difference. “When I don’t sleep with it for a night,” Raonic said “I can feel my jaw muscles just tense up the next day. I don’t sense myself grinding but I can sort of feel that difference the next day.”

 An occlusal guard is made from an exact model of your own mouth. It helps to keep your teeth in better alignment and prevent them from coming into contact, so they can’t damage each other. It also protects your jaw joints from being stressed by excessive force. Plus, it’s secure and comfortable to wear. “I wear it all the time other than when I’m eating, so I got used to it pretty quickly,” said Raonic.

Teeth grinding can be a big problem — whether you put on your game face on the court… or at home. If you would like more information about bruxism, contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Stress & Tooth Habits” and “When Children Grind Their Teeth.”

By Wilmington Dental Associates
June 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When designing your new smile, we have a lot of options for changing how individual teeth look: from whitening discolored teeth to replacing missing teeth with life-like dental implants. But the problem may not be how your teeth look — in fact, individually they may look perfect. If they’re not straight, though, your smile won’t be as attractive as it could be.

We can address a poor bite (malocclusion) through the dental specialty of orthodontics. By moving misaligned teeth we may be able to transform your smile without any other dental work, or it could serve as a more solid foundation for other cosmetic enhancements. To find out if orthodontics can make a difference for you, you should begin with an initial visit to your general dentist. A thorough dental examination will enable them to tell you if correcting your bite could be a good option for you. If it is, they’ll most likely refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in treating malocclusions.

The orthodontist will also perform an evaluation and get as complete a picture as possible of your particular bite problems. This examination will also include checking jaw growth and development in younger patients, how the affected teeth align with other teeth, and if your current bite is having any effect on the jaw joints. This will provide a good overview of not only the malocclusion but how it affects the rest of your mouth.

With this detailed analysis, they can then advise you on the best course of treatment. Most malocclusions can be corrected with braces or, increasingly, clear aligner trays. In certain situations, though, more specialized approaches may be needed, such as isolating only certain teeth for movement.

While orthodontic treatment takes time and can be expensive, the end result can be amazing: an improved bite that not only enhances your appearance but improves function and long-term health. Along with other cosmetic enhancements to your teeth and gums, orthodontics can give you a new sense of confidence in your smile.

If you would like more information on improving your smile with orthodontic treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”

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