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Common Dental Problems

Virtually all teeth problems can be solved by the dentist. The result is not only an improvement in the smile but also an improvement in appearance and the overall quality of life. Having beautiful teeth enhances self esteem and one will no longer have to feel awkward when meeting new people or speaking in front of others. With perfect teeth, one can eat, talk, and laugh with confidence.

One of the most common teeth problems encountered is discolored teeth. There are several reasons why teeth lose their whiteness. Certain drinks like coffee, tea, and wines can stain teeth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can also stain teeth. Poor dental hygiene and inadequate brushing is also a contributing factor. Genetics also plays a role in the color of the teeth and some people just have naturally whiter teeth. With age, the outer layer of the teeth naturally wears away, revealing the dentin layer, which is naturally yellowish in color. One can prevent teeth discoloration by improving dental hygiene, regular flossing, and visiting the dentist for checkups and cleaning twice a year. Today, there are also treatment options available to whiten the teeth. Applying a bleaching agent to the enamel can remove discoloration. A light activated bleaching gel can also significantly whiten teeth in less than an hour although follow up treatments are needed. The teeth can also be covered with bonding materials. Another treatment method is by applying veneers, which may be thin composite or dental porcelain shells that are placed on the outer surfaces to cover the stained natural teeth.

Worn or cracked teeth are usually due to grinding and chewing on hard objects. The teeth can hurt when chewing or when the teeth are exposed to extremes in temperature. The treatment will depend on the type and extent of the crack. Sometimes, severely cracked teeth can no longer be repaired and would need to be extracted. This is the reason why regular visits to the dentist are very important. The dentist can spot hairline cracks, thus preventing further damage. Cracks can sometimes be restored with filling materials. If the damage has reached the nerve, a root canal treatment is done and a crown is placed to restore the tooth. In vertical breaks or split tooth or when the tooth has weakened from a cavity, the tooth may have to be removed.

Crooked teeth can adversely affect self confidence. Conventional braces have been used for years to move the teeth gradually and eventually straighten them. Typically, it takes two to three years before these can be removed. Today, there is an option not to wear these ugly metal wire braces. Especially for adults, metal braces across the teeth can be deemed unattractive. Invisible braces are made of clear plastic and are removable teeth aligners. These also require fewer return visits to the dentist or orthodontist so they are suitable even for busy people.

Another common problem is misshapen teeth. Teeth can be misshapen either naturally or as a result of extensive wear and tear. Teeth that are naturally misshapen can be covered with veneers or can be reshaped using dental bonding techniques. Porcelain veneers are thin shells that fit snugly over the natural teeth and are very effective in hiding misshapen teeth. The result is a perfect smile.

Dental implants are the best treatment option for replacing missing teeth. Unlike removable dentures, dental implants are long term or permanent replacements. A dental surgeon places a titanium metal in the jawbone. After three to six months, this is naturally and completely fused with the jawbone. An abutment is then fitted over the implant and a crown is fitted onto the abutment for a natural appearance. Dental implants are becoming the preferred choice over bridges or removable dentures because they not only look and feel natural, they prevent bone loss that would generally occur with tooth loss.