StarWhite Dental

Veneers have been used in the dental field for over 3 decades, making them one of the most sought-after procedures for concealing stains and other imperfections. Today, many consider composite resin veneers to be the most modernized choice. However, porcelain veneers are the arguably superior option. If you’re wondering why, keep reading. Here are a few reasons why you should spend a little extra and choose porcelain veneers to reshape your smile.

Porcelain Veneers Are Stain Resistant

Did you know that more than a quarter of composite veneers stain within the first decade of use? With this in mind, it is good to know that porcelain is non-porous and smooth, which renders is much more resistant to stains and discoloration. However, even if you opt for porcelain, be aware that you will get the best results if you generally abstain from specific foods and drinks that are prone to staining the teeth. For you coffee and wine fanatics out there, this does not mean you have to give them up entirely, just enjoy them in moderation and make sure to brush and floss regularly.

Unmatched Durability

Ideally, your brand new veneers should last for a long time. In addition to cutting down on time spent at the dentist, reliable veneers will keep your smile looking fresh. The typical lifespan for composite veneers is anywhere from 5 to 7 years, while porcelain veneers boast a lifespan of 10 to 15 years. So in addition to staying white for a much longer period of time, porcelain veneers are more resistant to scratches, chips, and scuffs. If price is an issue, factor in the extra 5 to 7 years of longevity afforded by porcelain veneers and you’ll see that they are usually the better deal.

The Stabilizing Effect

One overlooked benefit afforded by veneers is their ability to stabilize damaged teeth and prevent them from becoming more damaged in the future. Porcelain is an ideal material for this task, so you don’t have to worry about a crack or chip in one of your teeth ruining your smile. However, be aware that veneers cannot save every tooth. If you have questions in this regard, be sure to speak with your dentist. Odds are they will be able to help you determine the most viable path forward for each individual tooth. While the wait may seem a little agitating, the end results are well worth it.

Porcelain Provides A Greater Amount Of Adjustment

Another advantage porcelain veneers have over their composite counterparts is adjustability. Composite veneers are inherently limited in terms of discoloration and the ability to cover cracks of all shapes and sizes. Porcelain, on the other hand, can cover almost any type of damage. So if you are looking to fill small gaps in-between teeth, or even adjust the look of moderately crooked teeth, porcelain is the way to go.

When It Comes To Color…

One of the most advantageous aspects of porcelain veneers is the ability to fine-tune the color, shade, and tint of each tooth. This facilitates a much more natural smile that what composite resin veneers are capable of. So if maintaining a naturalistic appearance is important to you, porcelain is your new best friend.

What About Teeth Whitening?

Many people prefer porcelain veneers to regular teeth whitening sessions. This is largely because teeth whitening causes tooth sensitivity, makes teeth more porous, and only achieves temporary results. On top of that, teeth that undergo regular whitening are actually more likely to become stained after contact with substances such as wine or coffee. Compared to the broad degree of customization afforded by porcelain veneers, there really isn’t much of a contest. However, be sure to consult with your dentist before making a decision one way or the other.

All in all, porcelain veneers are the perfect option for a beautiful smile. No matter whether your goal is to reshape or whiten your smile, realign your teeth, or improve your self-esteem, porcelain veneers are sure to leave a lasting impression.

Regardless of what veneers or cosmetic procedures you opt for, StarWhite Dental is here to help. Give them a call today to discuss your treatment options and find the procedure that works best for you.

Adjusting to Your New Dentures

If you have experienced tooth loss from tooth decay, gum disease, or injury, or you’ve had multiple teeth removed; you are a good candidate and likely familiar with dentures. You also likely have questions about them, such as what they are, what they do, and how they work. Let’s look closer at this traditional and commonly used oral care treatment.

Dentures—What Are They?

Simply defined, dentures are removable artificial teeth and gums specifically formed to fit your mouth to replace missing natural teeth. Your dentist will create dentures that visually match adjacent existing teeth and fit them to the gum line, replacing a few teeth or all of them with partial or full dentures.

Modern dentures are typically made of a very hard resin but are more fragile than your natural teeth and wear down after about five years, requiring replacement. They also tend to chip or even crack if not properly maintained.  The supporting “gums” of dentures are usually made of a flexible polymer that melds with your natural gum line.

Is There a Benefit to Wearing Dentures?

An obvious reason to choose dentures is to regain your smile after the loss of multiple teeth, but additional benefits also make them a wise and popular choice.

We need our teeth to provide support to our face and jaw bone. As such, dentures aid in maintaining stability to our cheeks and mouth, filling out the profile of the face. Dentures can also take the place of natural teeth that are damaged or causing significant pain, and they allow you to chew properly and keep your body nourished with the healthy food you need.

Dentures make it easier to speak as well. When we were kids and our baby teeth fell out, we quickly learned it was tricky to talk normally. The gap where a tooth used to be makes our words sound goofy and the same thing happens with adults and elderly people but properly fitted dentures can restore an engaging voice.

Types of Dentures

Dentures generally come in three different types; Conventional, Immediate, and Overdenture.

Conventional Dentures

These are full, removable dentures which are fitted to your mouth after all teeth are removed and tissue is fully healed.

Immediate Dentures

This type of denture is placed immediately after remaining teeth are removed, which means patients don’t have to wait through the entire healing process.

Overdenture

Overdentures make use of healthy teeth to help provide stability and preserve the integrity of the jaw bone.

What Will Your New Dentures Feel Like?

As is the case with most every major oral procedure, it will take a while to get used to the feel of new dentures. It typically takes several weeks before irritation and soreness subside and sometimes the dentures will feel loose but that is part of the interim period when cheek and tongue muscles get used to their new neighbors.

Another common and frustrating side effect of new dentures is increased saliva flow. Yes, it’s messy and you shouldn’t take a date to a fancy restaurant when you’re drooling all over the place, but it goes away after your mouth adapts to the dentures.

Top Five Tips for Adjusting to New Dentures

Everyone is different and every experience is different but there are several go-to habits to adopt to help you adjust to new dentures.

  1. Practice eating slowly and with soft food cut into small pieces. Chew slowly with both sides of your mouth.
  2. If you hear a click from your dentures when speaking, speak slower and practice repeating words that give you trouble. It also helps to read out loud.
  3. Your dentures might slip when coughing, laughing, sneezing, or smiling. If this happens you can reposition the dentures by simply biting down and swallowing.
  4. Wear your dentures per the prescribed times for the full duration of the breaking-in phase.  
  5. Keep them clean. Rinse the dentures before brushing, use a soft-bristle toothbrush, and be sure to clean your whole mouth including gums, cheeks, and tongue.

Bonus tip: When you’re not wearing your dentures, keep them submerged in water and in a place they won’t get lost or damaged.

For more information on adjusting to new dentures and available options, contact StarWhite Dental at (951) 291-0668.

Star White Dental

If you have been notified by your dentist that you need a root canal, you may have some pressing questions about the process. Root canals are a fairly common procedure and can even be almost pain-free with the benefits of modern, medical technology. In an attempt to preempt any confusion or panic, here are some answers to common questions about root canals.

What is a root canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure in which the dentist removes the infected areas of a tooth. These usually include the diseased tissue and the infected pulp. The root canals – hollow fissures that run from the tip of the tooth to the root – are also involved in the process. 

The dentist concentrates mostly on the tooth’s pulp – the pulpy center comprised of blood vessels and nerve endings. Pulp flows through the roots of your tooth in a narrow channel or canal, and when this pulp becomes infected or damaged, it hurts.

In most cases, a dentist will perform the root canal surgery but in more complicated cases, a root canal specialist will be necessary to perform the procedure.

Common causes include cracks, deep cavities, trauma to the tooth, or repeated treatments that have proved ineffective. In the simplest sense, root canal therapy is when the dentist locates an infection or damage to the pulp, cleans it, disinfects it, fills it, and then seals the tooth to prevent further infection.

How do I know if I need a root canal?

There are some symptoms or warning signs that will tell you that you need to schedule a visit to your dentist. These include:

  • Tooth pain: Pain is the body’s way of letting your brain know something isn’t right, and it is the best indicator of a damaged or infected tooth. Maybe it comes and goes throughout the day, and it may heighten when you bite down on something. It also may emanate from your gums. These are all signs that you should visit your dentist, and quickly.
  • Hot and cold: You may notice that the affected tooth and the surrounding area in the gums are extra sensitive to hot and cold, and even when the source has been removed, these areas can ache for a while.
  • Discoloration: Your gums may be red and angry-looking, or perhaps purple and bruised.
  • Swelling: If your gums are palpably bigger and tender to the touch, you will know it. Run your tongue over your gums. Do they feel weird? Maybe they are hotter than normal, almost feverish. Maybe they are just bigger. Whatever it is, one thing is clear – they are not happy gums.
  • Ill feeling: With a severe toothache, you’ll tend to feel ill all over. This overall feeling of illness may also be due to your inability to eat, drink, sleep or live comfortably. The result is the same – you will be in pain until you head to your dentist.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms in recent months, you should head to your dentist for a full checkup. Your dentist will be the one to tell you whether or not you need a root canal.

What happens during a root canal?

During a root canal, your dentist will numb your tooth and the affected area, create an access hole in your tooth, and then clean out all the infected material. To finish, your dentist will fill the canals and the cleaned areas of the tooth with a material, fill the access hole, and cap the tooth to avoid any infection.

Are there painless root canals?

These are not your parents’ root canals. These days, medical technology and state-of-the-art equipment offer a lot of options that didn’t exist 20 years ago. Through these advancements, dentists can make their patients feel little to nothing during a root canal. And if you think about it, if your face hurts enough, the root canal (while it may be unpleasant) should largely be a relief.

If you have experienced some of the unpleasant symptoms associated with a tooth infection, consult your dentist. Professionals like those at Star White Dental will guide you to a happy and healthy mouth.