AND NOW SMILE

AND NOW SMILE

Tue, 08/02/2016 - 10:49

Modern dentistry is here for you

Having beautiful smile is one of nature's great gifts – it makes its owner to appear better, cleaner and more confident to the others. For centuries, white healthy smile was the privilege of people with good genes.

Not anymore. Thanks to the advance of modern dentistry, having healthy, white and beautifully shaped teeth is now possible for everyone eager to change what nature has given him. Modern dental treatment is available in Bulgaria as well, where top specialists follow and apply in their practice the latest achievements in the field but at prices that are significantly lower than ones in the West.

Personal hygiene and care are crucial for having a beautiful and healthy smile – we know that you have heard it time and again, and yet, we all tend to forget it. After eating, the so-called dental plaque covers the teeth and the microbes it contains can damage the tooth enamel, leading to dental caries. Cleaning your teeth properly is the first step toward prevention of this from happening. Every adult thinks that he has known for years how to brush his teeth, but often it is not the case. If you brush your teeth not with the recommended sweeping motion, then you are doing it incorrectly. Harder brushing also doesn't mean better cleaning: it means only that you are risking damaging your tooth enamel.

Washing your teeth regularly with quality toothbrush and cleaning them with dental floss will keep the level of microbes down, but regular check ups with your dentist are a must. Once in the office, be sure to have your tartar cleaned as well; the procedure has to be performed at least once a year.

The lifestyle is also important: smoking, the overuse of carbohydrates and colouring foods and beverages like coffee, tea and red wine inevitably influences the appearance of the teeth.

Beautiful smile is a healthy smile, so pay attention to your oral health and take care of each problem while it is still in at an early stage of development, as even the small caries, if untreated, can cause much more serious pulpitis. Once a caries appears, dental filling is required. The times when your only option were the amalgam tooth fillings are long gone. Today, dental offices offer more aesthetically pleasing options like metal ceramics, photopolymers, ceramics. These materials have good durability and come in colours that blend perfectly with the rest of the treated tooth. Your dentist should explain you clearly the pros and cons of the materials he uses in his practice and let you choose the option that is best for you.

For more serious problems – both health and aesthetic ones – in the oral cavity, there are a number of modern solutions. Teeth with badly damaged enamel, discolouration, loss of shape or tissue can be permanently covered with dental facets or veneers, or with crowns from photopolymer, ceramics or zirconium. Loss of one or more teeth can be overcome with the so-called bridge, that is a fixed prosthesis attached to healthy teeth, or by the increasingly popular dental implants. Teeth-whitening is another procedure that is gaining a momentum among the ones that aim for brighter smile, and new generation of braces are available for patients that need correction of malpositioned teeth and the jaws.

Novelties are introduced at all levels of modern dentistry. Lasers, that are now increasingly used in many fields of medicine, are applied for treatment of both hard and soft tissue, as they cause less pain and blood loss that ordinary surgeries, and have a shorter recovery period. The use of 3D scanning allows for better diagnosis and targeted treatment even in hard to reach places. The development of bone reconstruction techniques has allowed specialists to fix implants to patients that would have been earlier deemed unfit for the procedure. The advance of technology is also helping specialists to have the second opinion of a renowned professional living somewhere else, or to have crowns or brackets produced in a laboratory in a different country.

As a result, the once dreaded tooth loss with all of its consequences on the lifestyle of the sufferer, seems doomed to extinction together with the discomfort and low self-esteem provoked by crooked or discoloured teeth. It seems that the day when everyone could have a shining Hollywood smile is not that far.

The seemingly magical development of modern dentistry, however, comes with a shortcoming: many patients now believe that complete change is possible within few days after their first visit in the dental office. For now, responsible dentists are eager to point out, we are still far from this stage of medical progress. The patient needs to know that the complete restructuring of his smile is a long process that asks for careful planning, dedication from him and the specialist, complex care and patience. Before undergoing a serious procedure like fixing of an implant, the patient's teeth and gums have to be healthy. Where bone is missing, reconstruction is needed. And these all take time from the patient.

Planning the way the new teeth of the patient will look like is also a demanding task – there is no uniform shape of teeth to suit all the faces. That is why dentists pay extra-attention to each patient, study his manner of talk and behaviour and offer temporary constructions, checking how the patient feels and if anything needs amendment, before fixing the permanent ones.
And still, the "magical" solution that implants are thought to be is not for everyone. Smoking and diabetes don't go with implants well, and people who have taken steroids for significant periods of time or suffer from ostheoporosis are advised to avoid implants as these affect the bones and can lead to failure of the treatment.

Having implants also requires constant care. Smoking should be stopped and strict everyday dental care, following the advice of the dentist, should be kept. Regular visits to the dental office should be made, for check up of the condition of the implants: this will guarantee their longevity and the lack of complications.

The same logic goes with teeth-whitening. The popularity of the treatment has led to the proliferation of products that can be freely purchased, including from the Internet. But buying an unknown product to apply on your teeth is not like buying yet another pair of jeans. You should respect your health and consult with a dentist before undergoing a teeth-whitening procedure at home. He will check if your teeth are healthy – again, a requirement – and will examine if you are not sensitive to some of the ingredients in the teeth-whitening product. Otherwise, you risk seriously damaging your teeth and gums.

The best way to avoid most of these interventions, is to keep our teeth as healthy as possible, which brings us again to hygiene, healthy living and regular visits to the dentist. Alas, magical solutions are possible only in fairy tales.

Issue 118

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