by Bozhidara Georgieva

Contemporary dentistry combines scientific achievements and high professionalism

Teeth are among the few parts of the human body that are not only extremely important for the proper functioning of the organism, but that also influence the self-confidence and the person's overall charisma.

On the one hand, without healthy teeth we cannot eat properly. Thanks to them we "mill" the food so that it can be absorbed by the body. In some people problems with missing teeth begin with ageing, but plenty of others loose a tooth or more while they are still at active age.

On the other hand, white and well aligned teeth have always been a sign of beauty. When beautiful, a smile makes one more likeable, and when it has some imperfections, its owner often suffer from low self-confidence and diffidence.

This combination of the functional and the aesthetic factor makes teeth so important for the modern person. In the current development of medicine in general and of dentistry in particular, we now have effective and reliable methods and technologies for treatment covering the whole spectrum of dental problems.

The role of prophylaxis can hardly be overstated. Regular tooth cleaning with brush, dental floss and interdental brushes is absolutely necessary. Primary teeth should also be cleaned regularly and to be kept healthy. That is why we have to teach our children proper oral hygiene as early as their first tooth appears.

Caries is arguably the best known complication that can result from bad dental hygiene. It, however, is not the only one. Irregular teeth cleaning can lead to the accumulation of so-called dental plaque. This is a thin film of bacteria covering the tooth surface. Give it time, and it will turn to tartar. Dental plaque can not only cause caries. It is also the basis of gum inflammations like gingivitis and the more serious periodontitis.

Regardless of what circulates in the Internet, visiting the dentist is the only reliable way to clean properly dental plaque and the accumulated tartar. Only the intervention of an experienced specialist can guarantee that even the tiniest traces of residue are cleaned and your teeth are polished. Even if you don't fancy visiting the dentist (most people do not), the feeling of having a mouth that has just been cleaned is one-of-a-kind.

Regular visits to the dentist should become a habit. They not only guarantee that every problem will be identified and treated timely. Thanks to them you build a bond of trust with the physician. This can be crucial for the successful diagnosis and treatment of more serious diseases and conditions.

Humans have only 32 permanent teeth (the primary ones are 20). The number doesn't look big, but the possible complications, diseases and problems connected to the teeth and the jaws are of an impressive quantity.
Irregularly aligned teeth can appear in an early age, and the problems they cause can last for life. They can disrupt not only proper eating, but also speech and even proper breathing. Orthodontists are the professionals who specialise in this part of dentistry.

Until recently correction of irregularly aligned teeth was associated mainly with the ugly braces that kids and teenagers refused to wear because of bullying by their classmates. Now these times are gone. Modern metal wired braces are smaller and with quicker and more painless effect on the teeth. Ceramic braces are an analogue, but because of the material they are made off they better blend with the teeth's main colour. Lingual braces are of metal, but remain invisible as they are positioned on the teeth's back surface. Invisible aligners are made of non-toxic plastic and fit well their name. They can be taken off during eating – an advantage through and through. On the other hand, however, they are less effective in more serious cases of irregular teeth.

The progress in orthodontics is visible as well from the fact that children and teenagers are no more the only ones whose irregularly aligned teeth can be corrected. Today the procedure is also possible for adults, whose teeth have already taken shape and have stopped their development.

The loss of a tooth or of several teeth is a dental problem of great gravity. The most common cause for tooth loss are gum diseases but this can also happen due to a trauma and even genetic predisposition. Missing even one tooth in the mouth results in all the other teeth moving in their places, provoking orthodontic problems. That is why a missing tooth should not be underestimated.

Traditional method of dealing with the problem was bridge placement. In the recent years, however, the alternative solution is getting more popular: implant treatment. Implants are placed directly in the bone where they successfully replace the missing teeth. Unlike bridges, implants do not require filing of healthy neighbouring teeth for the construction to be fixed. Thanks to modern technologies implants are unrecognisable – they have the colour of the other teeth and their shape is as close to the natural one as possible.

The opportunities that implants provide for replacement of whole groups of missing teeth are dooming to oblivion another old solution to this ancient problem: partial or full dentures. Once incorporated into the bone, implants bring back the pleasure of eating and restore the lost facial symmetry. They also protect the jaw bone from the deformations that appear when a tooth is missing.

Implants placing, however, is not only a solution – but also a responsibility. The patient should be aware that excellent oral hygiene and quitting harmful habits like smoking are very important for the long-lasting effect of the treatment.

Before opting for pulling out an ill tooth, however, you should be very sure that the case is beyond all hope. Consultation with an experienced endodontist and the options for effective root canal treatment can prove to be crucial; in the end of the day they can spare you the tooth extraction.

Proper root canal treatment can even save a tooth that has developed an abscess. During the treatment the specialist opens the tooth, removes the pulp and the nerves, and cleans the root canals in depth. Then they seal everything with a filling or, if needed, places a crown. The procedure might sound scary, but is very effective in 95 percent of the cases.

The achievements and innovations in modern dentistry concern not only treatment methods but also the technologies used for diagnosis and manufacture of crowns, implants, fillings, braces, crowns. The best dental offices and laboratories nowadays are getting the appearance of something as if from a movie about the future. Computers take dental imprints and process the information, creating models of future implants or crowns. The patient's teeth are extensively photographed and 2D and 3D models are made to provide proper idea of the final result of the procedure. Temporary models allow the patient to "try" their new smile and to share what can be changed in regard to its function and aesthetics.

New technologies are also implemented in dental surgery with methods such as laser surgery and blood plasma treatment. Used instead of ordinary scalpel, laser provides more painless treatment with less bleeding and faster recovery. Its high temperature "seals" the blood vessels resulting in lesser risk of infection. Treatment of affected tissues with the patient's own blood plasma, for its part, results in faster recovery.

Because well shaped teeth are a sign not only for good health, but for prestige and good self-confidence, too, aesthetic dentistry also applies modern scientific achievements for the benefit of patients.

Imperfect teeth colour is arguably the most common complain. Factors that can cause change in the colour of a tooth are many and include both genetic predisposition and the patient's lifestyle. Smoking has been for long a proven cause of teeth yellowing, but a number of colouring foods and drinks such as blueberries, tea and coffee can also have an affect.

In the recent years on the market have appeared many methods for teeth whitening, including ones for application at home. Before giving one of those a try, however, you should obligatorily consult with a dentist. Your teeth and gums should be perfect health before undergoing a whitening procedure. Even when home methods look seducing, the best way to be sure that everything is fine – and that the effect to become visible faster – is the dental office where the procedure is performed by a specialist.

When teeth are healthy, but their shape and colour are far from desirable, the most advanced solution of this aesthetic problem are the so-called veneers. These thin lamellae of composite or dental porcelain are made in the desired shape and are then glued to the frontal, visible part of the tooth. Thanks to them the smile is utterly transformed, while the tooth surface is minimally filed.

Contemporary and innovative methods for treatment and aesthetic transformation, however, are not the most important thing when we are looking for a successful solution to our dental problem. Even the most exclusively equipped clinic is just a beautiful space with the latest generation of technology without the professionals who will use it to make the best diagnosis and create a treatment plan which then they will implement it, step by step.

Bulgaria has old and excellent traditions in training of dentists at a world level. A prove for this is the popularity of Bulgarian dentists among visiting foreigners. In Bulgaria, quality dental treatment is provided by excellent specialists informed on the latest development in their field. They work with modern materials and technologies, and the prices are significantly lower than those in the West.

Careful choice of a dentist is crucial for the excellent results. The recommendation of friends or relatives will remain one of the most popular ways to choose a personal dentist. But while this can be enough when prophylaxis, cleaning and caries treatment are concerned, for serious dental problems you need to search for proven professionals.

You will recognise those by their impeccable reputation, their awards and trainings abroad, their membership in prestigious professional organisations, their academic titles, their individual approach towards both the patient and the disease. In a complex problem that asks for the intervention of several different specialists, the good dentists will prepare a complete plan for treatment, leading you through every stage of the process. Because only extensive information and professionalism can create that mutual trust between a physician and a patient without which quality dental treatment is impossible.


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