Do you ever look at your teeth and wish you could fix something about them? Feeling self-conscious about the appearance of your teeth can affect the quality of your social interactions and self-esteem. But, there are many dental procedures available that can improve your smile. Braces, teeth whitening, and bonding are just some of the readily available methods. But have you heard of odontoplasty? In this article, we'll be discussing what this is, how it works, and how to take care of your teeth after this treatment.
What is Odontoplasty?
The American Dental Association reported that 38% of young adults find their lives less satisfying because of dental issues. Cosmetic dentistry not only improves the aesthetic of your teeth, but it can help you feel good about yourself too. Treatments include the correction of teeth misalignment, whitening, and reshaping teeth size and shape. Odontoplasty is a dental cosmetic procedure known as enameloplasty, dental recontouring, or tooth reshaping that enhances the overall appearance of your teeth. Some dentists may recommend this cosmetic treatment as part of your orthodontic journey.
What Happens During Odontoplasty?
An odontoplasty is a noninvasive procedure with minimal to no discomfort. Dentists use a sanding disc or diamond bur (drill) to remove small amounts of tooth enamel (the outer layer of teeth). Helping to adjust and reshape the length, size, and/or shape of teeth. Odontoplasty can also create symmetry in the teeth, particularly for people with uneven teeth length. Once the dentist has reshaped the teeth, they will polish the area to complete the treatment. The procedure is generally complete in one appointment with immediate changes in the appearance of your smile.
Do I need Odontoplasty?
If you have minor teeth alignment issues, you can improve these with this procedure and smile confidently. You may be a candidate for odontoplasty if you have:
A slight overlap between one tooth and another
Uneven front teeth
Bulges in tooth enamel
After Care Tips
Because odontoplasty thins out tooth enamel, it's important to take special care of your teeth after this procedure. You can start by maintaining a good oral hygiene routine; brush your teeth twice a day, and remove plaque and bacteria between teeth and gums with an interdental cleaner. You may want to avoid biting and chewing into any hard foods after the procedure.
You deserve to have a perfect smile. Fortunately, with dental cosmetic treatments like odontoplasty, you'll be well on your way. This procedure is a great option if you are looking to straighten and enhance your teeth in one dentist's appointment. Remember to speak to your dentist to determine if this is the right treatment course for you. They may recommend odontoplasty to correct a slightly chipped tooth, uneven teeth, and minor crowding. Once you've improved the appearance of your teeth, you should keep to a good dental care regimen. This will protect your smile and assist in preventing dental health issues.
Dental technology is a branch of the dental sciences that includes dental technicians, lab scientists, metallurgists and other compound specialists who work to recreate dental anatomy. Whether the natural oral environment is disrupted by disease, accidents or other alterations, skilled professionals can help restore the function, health and look of their patients' mouths.
Technology makes the world go round. Not only that, but it makes the world go round more efficiently and more pleasurably. Simply stated, technology makes life easier. At Fedorciw, Massoumi, & Kolbig, we believe that life should be easy and so should visiting the dentist. Because of this, we offer our patients the best modern dental technology.
Recently, the role of technology in the dental office is becoming increasingly important, as most patients are looking for dental care that is fast, minimally-invasive, and effective. We at Fedorciw, Massoumi, & Kolbig hear that, and we implement certain technological advancements that allow our approach to dentistry to be fast, minimally-invasive, and effective.
Some of the ways we offer our patients the best in dental technology is through diagnostics, treatment, and restoration options. Our office uses diagnostic methods such as digital dental x-rays, treatment anesthetics such as Kovanaze, treatment methods such as Invisalign, and restoration options such as same day crowns. Each of these offers an effective and easy alternative to traditional dentistry.
Digital Dental X-rays:
Dental x-rays are an essential diagnostic tool that allows our dentists to evaluate your teeth, jaw, and underlying bone structure. They can also be used to diagnose cavities or possible bone mass loss caused by gum disease. At Fedorciw, Massoumi, & Kolbig, we use digital x-rays because they do not require film to process, can easily be enhanced or enlarged, and use less radiation than traditional x-rays.
There are two different types of x-rays that are performed in our office: intraoral and extraoral. Intraoral refers to x-rays that are taken of the inside of the mouth. Intraoral x-rays are used to detect cavities, examine your tooth roots and surrounding bone, check developing teeth, and oversee the health of your jawbone.
Intraoral x-rays can be obtained a number of ways. Some of the most commonly performed intraoral x-rays include:
Bitewing: Used to check for cavities between teeth, you will simply bite down on a specialized paper. This viewpoint shows how well your top and bottom teeth match up.
Occlusal: This also shows how well your top and bottom teeth match up, as well as detects any abnormalities with the top or bottom of your mouth.
Panoramic: This viewpoint captures all your teeth in a single shot by rotating around your head. This type of x-rays is used for implant planning, the diagnosis of jaw problems, and to plan for wisdom teeth extraction.
Periapical: This viewpoint focuses on two teeth. Specifically, it shows the teeth in their entirety, from crown to root.
Extraoral x-rays refer to those that are taken outside of the mouth, specifically of the jaw and skull. Extraoral x-rays are used to monitor the growth of the jaw in relation to teeth, identify impacted teeth, or to diagnose problems with the temporomandibular joint.
Dental Lab Technology in Action
Dental technology is a rapidly changing field. Through new CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) techniques and improved treatment options, patients are keeping their teeth longer in life. According to a survey 48 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 had retained all their teeth in 2011-2012. Nevertheless, that means a large percentage of the population still needs the expertise of dental technicians.
Taste and its role in the enjoyment of food is something that many of us take for granted. And yet, a taste disorder can have a negative effect on our quality of life and nutrition. It may also indicate an underlying problem.
Symptoms of Dysgeusia
Tongue dysgeusia is a taste disorder that manifests as a lingering, unpleasant sensation in the mouth. People who experience a taste disturbance often report having a frequent foul, rancid, metallic, or salty taste perception. The condition has been attributed to physiological changes in the body, certain ailments, vitamin deficiencies, prescription medications and cancer treatment.
Causes of Dysgeusia
Here are a few causes of this taste disorder that may help your dentist or physician to identify the root of the problem and, hopefully, restore your ability to enjoy food:
Medication. A metallic taste is perhaps the most common sensation reported, and is often attributed to the use of medication. More than 200 medications are known to cause taste disorders, yet this side effect is often overlooked in drug development, notes an article in Toxicological Sciences.
Cancer treatment. Dysgeusia can occur as a side effect of chemotherapy and radiation. It is more common in the treatment of head and neck cancers, although it can occur with the treatment of any type of cancer. According to the Society of Sensory Professionals, cancer treatment can interfere temporarily or permanently with the ability to taste or smell food. Doctors should address these effects to prevent malnutrition and weight loss.
Diabetes. Another instance of tongue dysfunction can occur in people with undiagnosed diabetes, especially in cases of adult onset or type 2 diabetes mellitus. Referred to as "diabetic tongue" by an article in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, dysgeusia can be an early symptom of the condition. Researchers have found that altered taste is not constant throughout the day, meaning it could be attributed to fluctuations in blood sugar levels and identified as an early clinical sign for diabetes.
Other causes. The aforementioned study also recognised that other systemic health problems, such as zinc deficiencies, dry mouth and autoimmune diseases, could also cause changes in taste. Other causes include ageing and physiological changes, such as pregnancy and menopause. In addition, head injuries and certain ear, nose and throat procedures can cause taste disorders. Dental issues like poor oral hygiene and the extraction of a wisdom tooth can also lead to dysgeusia.
Treatment of Dysgeusia
The treatment of taste dysfunctions often requires addressing the underlying problem, when possible. The condition may also be self-limiting and resolve on its own. However, when it occurs due to systemic issues or the use of necessary medications, a taste disturbance can be managed through nutritional, dietary and palliative treatments.
Dietary counselling about flavouring agents and spices is important to avoid inadequate nutrition and unhealthy ingredients as a way of enhancing taste. Such counselling explains the importance of avoiding additional salt and sugar, which can increase cavity risk and contribute to high blood pressure.
In instances of dry mouth, your dentist may recommend a daily mouth rinse. Dry mouth can cause taste disturbances, but it also contributes to cavities due to the lack of saliva. An alcohol-free mouth rinse can help repair daily damage to teeth, restores natural calcium, and repairs weakened enamel.
Finally, it is important to visit the dentist regularly for preventive oral health care. Along with routine home care and a healthy lifestyle, these efforts may help diminish the degree of dysgeusia and get you more excited about sitting around the dinner table.
Did you know that your teeth are unique? Many dental treatments and devices are specially designed to fit into the mouth naturally. Dental impressions help dentists create custom oral devices that will sit comfortably on teeth surfaces. To get these impressions, they use a material known as alginate. Learn more about what alginate is and how dentists use it.
What Is Alginate Made Of?
Alginate is a powder material that contains sodium alginate, calcium sulfate, trisodium phosphate, diatomaceous earth, zinc oxide, and potassium titanium fluoride. When mixed with water, it makes a smooth gel-like consistency that sets firmly enough to mold. Alginate is a hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction) material that dental professionals use to take accurate teeth impressions for various oral devices and treatments.
Alginate Impression Uses
Dental impressions are used for any device that has to fit over or replace any of your teeth, such as:
Braces (and other orthodontic appliances)
Custom whitening trays
Because alginate impression material reacts favorably to water, it produces accurate dental impressions even in the presence of saliva. An accurate impression of your teeth and gums will help your dentist recreate a model of your dental arch. This will then be used to customize the dental device.
Making an Alginate Impression
Making dental impressions happens during your initial consultations. Your dentist will start by cleaning the teeth to remove any debris and allow the mouth to partially dry. Once this is done, they will mix the alginate powder with water to create a smooth, spreadable consistency. The mixture is then spooned onto a u-shaped impression tray that will fit onto the arch of your teeth. The tray will be firmly placed on the upper or lower teeth (depending on where the dental work is being done) for a couple of minutes. Let your dentist know if you experience a gag reflex. They may administer nitrous oxide, laughing gas, to stop the reflex and make you feel relaxed.
Getting impressions of your teeth is an important part of restorative and orthodontic treatments. Precise impressions help dentists make custom fitting appliances that won't cause irritation or discomfort. If you are worried about an active gag reflex, talk to your dentist. They are there to help you feel comfortable.
When we plan to visit a dental clinic, we think of many health-related questions to ask the doctor. However, very few people are aware of what to ask the doctor. but here are 9 questions you must ask your dentist during your first visit.
What is the status of my dental health?
Many patients skip this question and wait for their doctor to suggest the treatment. Knowing the root cause of our dental problem will keep you self-aware and stop you from doing anything that could disrupt your health. The dentist will evaluate and examine your case, discuss the situation, diagnose, and suggest the right kind of treatment.
What is the right way to floss?
The moment you ask this question, your dentist will show practically the method of flossing. A mirror will be placed in front of you to learn the techniques to help you get rid of harmful bacteria, plaque, and germs inside the mouth.
What type of toothbrush will suit my mouth?
Every individual is different. The method that may suit your friend may not be sufficient for your health. Therefore, ask your doctor, and they will suggest whether a soft-bristled toothbrush will be effective or need an electric toothbrush, depending on your dental condition
Should I use mouthwash for deep cleansing of my mouth?
Mouthwash comes with its share of pros and cons. After examining your dental health, your doctor will be able to suggest whether the usage of mouthwash will be good or bad for your health. For instance, an alcohol contained mouthwash may irritate some patient’s tooth enamel. Therefore, people with sensitive gums and tissues are suggested an alcohol-free mouthwash with fluoride content to protect the enamels and prevent canker sores.
Do I need to make any changes to my diet?
After undergoing dental treatment, your doctor will prepare some guidelines to follow, including some changes in your diet plan, medicines, and tips to heal quickly. There are some food products and beverages that can disrupt your dental health or cause side-effects post-surgery. Patients who performed any dental treatment should eat healthy, soft, and freshly-prepared food to improve their recovery rate.
Our teeth become vulnerable after undergoing dental treatment. Therefore, it may not help to chew the food properly, resulting in constipation or digestive disorders. Make sure you eat well-cooked food and fresh juice for good dental health.
What to eat and what not to eat?
Avoid eating sugary items, soft drinks, and carbonated drinks.
Avoid eating starchy food as it gets stuck on the tooth surface.
Do not drink caffeine or tea as it stains your teeth.
Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption
Eat foods that are freshly prepared and well-cooked
Add more green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits in your diet.
Why my mouth feels dry all the time?
A dry mouth can be an initial symptom of an underlying health condition such as diabetes, gum disease, gingivitis, bad breath, or periodontitis. Many things may cause dry mouth, including bacterial build-up inside the mouth, tooth infection, or oral cancer. Therefore, immediately consult your dentist if you are experiencing this problem. The dentist may run a few tests to check your salivary glands and examine your health history to diagnose it.
Which toothpaste will suit my teeth and gums?
As there are limitless options in the toothpaste market, all claiming to be the best, choosing the right toothpaste is a task to accomplish. If you are tired of trying new toothpaste every month to find out what suits you better, it is wise to ask your dentist or dental hygienist. The professional will examine your mouth and may recommend customized-medicated toothpaste that may protect your teeth and make your gums stronger.
When should I book my next dental appointment?
If you have performed dental treatments like a root canal, dental implant, dental crowns, or cosmetic dentistry, your doctor may ask you to visit within a few weeks or a month. Ideally, every individual should pay a visit to their trusted dental clinic in Pune once every six months for a routine check-up.
A routine check-up will help your doctor closely monitor your dental health and detect any dental issues on its initial stage. If you are someone with a family history of cancer, do not avoid or delay your dental appointments. Diseases on its initial stage can be easily treated with safe treatment, home remedies, and a few medicines
The ideal dentist is a partner in you and your family's oral health. They will be tracking your family history, ensuring you get regular checkups, professional cleanings, and taking care of dental emergencies that crop up when you least expect them. Ready to find your next dentist? Make sure he or she fulfills the following requirements and puts you at ease.
General vs. Specialty
Dentists operate in many capacities, and if they've had special training beyond dental school, they may have a particular dental specialty. For example, pediatric dentists are experts in working with children, whereas periodontists focus on gum, bone, and periodontal care. Both of these dentists have received either their DDS or DMD, which, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), results from the same education level. In any case, you should see a general dentist for regular checkups, professional cleanings, and maintaining regular dental care.
A general dentist knows your patient history, educates you on daily hygiene, and can provide the most common dental services in-office. Your general dentist should also be concerned with patient education and healthy habits to ensure checkups go smoothly in the future. Dentists who specialize in general care can offer select restorative services – such as crowns, bridges, or dentures – along with emergency procedures and cavity care as needed. Suppose it's a minor or common procedure. In that case, your general dentist should be the one to guide you through the process, make you feel confident about it, and help you learn how to care for your smile at home.
There are times when your general dentist should refer you to a specialist for procedures that cannot be done in-office. In these instances, another dental specialist would be better equipped to handle your oral care. Specialty dentists focus on dental issues beyond standard care. Dental specialists receive additional training on specialties above and beyond their general dentistry degree. Specialists are necessary when you encounter problems that a general dentist can't address, like those due to heredity, overall health issues, or an accident.
Suppose your child is incredibly nervous, for instance. In that case, your dentist may direct you to a pediatric dentist who practices sedation dentistry or takes an approach that is better suited for younger patients. Suppose your teeth are damaged and you need extensive cosmetic work. In that case, your general dentist could refer you to a cosmetic dentist for more in-depth treatment. A good general dentist knows when to refer patients and when to treat them personally.
Choosing a Dentist
You know what makes a good general dentist, but that's only half the battle. Do your homework, and you'll be able to find a dentist that makes you feel at ease and in control of your oral health, no matter what condition you might be grappling with. Consider these tips for matching yourself with a great general dentist:
Ask friends and family. Referrals are an excellent way to find a dentist that patients love. Your friends and family can give you an objective idea of different dentists in the area, including their strengths and weaknesses.
Check their credentials. Make sure any dentist you consider is a member of the ADA, which holds its members to five ethical standards of patient care, including an up-to-date skillset.
Schedule a checkup. Because it's impossible to evaluate a dentist without meeting him or her, book this new patient appointment, which many dentists offer for free or at a discount for new patients. Get to know the dentist, ask questions about fluoride use, and handle emergency procedures.
Choosing a dentist means choosing a partner in oral health, so it shouldn't be done lightly. Most metropolitan areas have an abundance of dentists available. Still, they won't all be the perfect fit for you and your family. By patiently identifying the differences in each professional, you can choose someone to work with who you feel comfortable giving a place on your family's calendar to give you years of healthy teeth and smiles.
That moment you realize you've chipped a tooth doesn't just cramp your smile; leaving it unchecked could cause pain. Luckily, tooth bonding is a simple and relatively comfortable procedure for those who need to restore broken or weakened teeth.
Compared to other cosmetic dental procedures, bonding is quick and offers long-lasting results. If you think it might be your answer to a smooth smile, here's what you can expect before, during and after your appointment.
Bonding is just one procedure through which a dentist can help you attain a better smile, but it's not your only option. The application works best on areas of the mouth with low bite pressure, like your front teeth, and those that need minor repair. When the damage is more severe or in an area of high bite pressure, your dentist may suggest a veneer or crown – both of which are ideal for extensive damage or molar restoration, according to Cleveland Clinic. Your dentist can help you choose the treatment that's right for you.
Tooth bonding applies a resin that is then molded and hardened to fill in cracks or chips present in your teeth. It is virtually indistinguishable from your natural enamel, but before your dentist can begin his or her handiwork, the tooth must first be roughened so the resin material can properly adhere. This is typically done with a dremel-like tool, which can cause some sensitivity. Depending on the severity of the damage, your dentist may therefore opt to numb the area in which he is working to ensure your comfort.
A dental assistant often uses this time to mix the resin to match your natural teeth color. After the tooth surface has been roughened, this resin is applied and carefully shaped. A special light is then used to harden the resin, and you'll probably hear your dentist ask you to bite down several times to indicate if you feel excess resin that still needs smoothing away. This process is repeated until your tooth bonding is perfect.
Don't be surprised if your teeth feel a little strange after bonding; mouths are very sensitive to changes, and your tooth might feel wider with the addition of a resin. Over time it will bother you less.
Bonding may not last as long as veneers, but you should easily enjoy up to a decade of wear depending on the bite area and how you treat the tooth that was restored. Keep in mind bonding doesn't resist stains as well as crowns or veneers, and doesn't respond to whitening treatments. Your best bet is to follow a healthy oral hygiene routine to keep your bonding looking bright, including brushing with an all-purpose toothpaste like Colgate TotalSF Advanced Deep Clean. To ensure the most years of wear, avoid things that can crack the bonded material, such as using your teeth to open food wrappers.
Tooth bonding is a great option for many small but vital repairs. An afternoon in the dentist's office and a little patience on your part could mean beautifying areas of your smile that cause you to feel self-conscious.
Dental hygiene is considered to be one of the top best health care support jobs, both financially and emotionally rewarding. It is listed in the top 100 jobs, according to the US News; and Forbes included dental hygiene in its list entitled, “The Best Jobs That Don’t Require a Four-Year Degree”.
Dental hygienists work alongside dentists to care for patients oral health. Because of the low-stress dental hygienists experience at the workplace, hygienists have a fulfilling career, and many stay in their jobs into their 60’s. Learn more about the rapidly growing and expanding the field of dental hygiene.
WHAT DOES A DENTAL HYGIENIST DO?
Dental hygienists are the ones who prep their patient’s mouth for the dentist. They are the people who clean the teeth, examine the mouth for signs of any concerning oral conditions such as gum disease or oral cancers. They also will document the visit and educate the patient on how to take better care of and explain preventative measures of their mouths, teeth, and gums.
Dental hygienists may take mouth x-rays, and apply tooth sealants and protectants. Tools hygienists use to clean teeth and gums are usually manual, powered, or ultrasonic, and they may use lasers, as well.
Some dentist offices will have their Registered Dental Hygienists administer local anesthesia and nitrous oxide, place fillings, remove sutures, polish restorations, and do some minor periodontal procedures such as root planing.
Dental hygienists perform their duties in a variety of settings beyond dentist offices. They may be employed in community health centers, nursing homes, prisons, schools and colleges, and state and federal government facilities.
SKILLS OF A SUCCESSFUL DENTAL HYGIENIST
Strong Communication Skills: As a dental hygienist, you’re working closely with both the doctor and the patient. So, it’s important that you’re able to clearly and effectively communicate important details.
Attention to Details: An excellent dental hygienist needs to be able to catch even the most minute detail within the confines of the patient’s mouth.
Better-than-decent Dexterity: Your hands are dangling in the mouths of patients so they need to be super steady because one slip and you can severely hurt them. Shaky hands equal scared sufferer.
Passionate about their position: You need to love all things oral health because you are the one who informs and educates your patients on best practices. Also, patients love hygienists who are enthusiastic and outgoing; it makes for a better visit because not too many people love visiting their dentist.
Superior Stamina: As a dental hygienist, you’re moving around a lot. You’re constantly switching from sitting to standing which, while good exercise (think squats!), can be exhausting.
HOW TO BECOME A DENTAL HYGIENIST
Most dental hygienists start out in a community college or trade school in the dental hygiene program. Typically, an Associate’s in Applied Science in Dental Hygiene is the most common path and the one most preferred by potential employers. Most dental hygiene programs require one year of college curriculum with a GPA of 2.5 of higher before entering the program. Programs will take anywhere from two to four years, depending on whether you’re going for an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. All programs are similar, whether you’re going for an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree. Both have general ed classes, as well as those that pertain directly to dental hygiene. However, when going for a bachelor’s degree, the courses go more in-depth, allowing the student a deeper knowledge of the field. While the bachelor’s degree option is perfect for those who plan on teaching, going into the research aspect of dental hygiene, or working in a clinical setting for schools or public health programs, an associate’s degree plus the certification is all that’s necessary to be employable.
In the associate’s degree program for dental hygiene, there are 24 credits of general education and 50 credits of core courses required, along with 8 elective credits. Bachelor’s degrees have a higher course credit requirement. 45 general elective credits, 68 core class credits, and 6 elective credits.
Dental hygiene coursework will include both classroom and practical, or hands-on, learning. Most programs include anatomy and physiology, microbiology and immunology, intro to dental hygiene, dental anatomy, periodontics, head and neck anatomy, and radiology in their curriculum.
When our teeth and gums are healthy, we feel more confident. However, the tooth enamel gets stained or turns yellowish as we go about our daily drinking and eating habits. To clean the teeth and make them shiny again, RDAs perform coronal or tooth polishing.
Due to its overzealous use, coronal polishing can be harmful and lead to the wearing of the superficial tooth structure. Eventually, it will lead to more accumulation of deposits around the teeth. That is why coronal polishing should be done selectively according to the patient’s need. So, before you ask your RDA for a coronal polishing procedure, there are certain things that you should know.
What is Coronal Polishing?
Coronal polishing is the procedure that removes stain and plaque from the coronal surfaces of teeth. It often concludes many dental appointments as it gives that clean feeling to the patient. A Dental Assistant can perform this procedure but needs to meet specific credential requirements, education, or state exam.
Why is Coronal Polishing an Integral Part of Dental Treatments?
Coronal polishing can:
Remove extrinsic stain.
Prepare teeth for certain dental procedures.
Discourage the buildup of local deposits and enhance fluoride absorption.
Create a smooth surface that is less likely to retain plaque, stain, and calculus.
However, a patient must be aware of the specific rules that need to be followed.
When Do You Need a Coronal Polishing?
The indications for coronal polishing are:
Removal of light plaque and stain
Removal of temporary cement residues
Placement of crowns and bridges
Placement of orthodontic bands and brackets
Placement of dental dam
Placement of sealants
Surface cleaning before the selection of a tooth shade guide
Coronal Polishing: Contraindications
It used to be a common thing to get coronal polishing at the end of a dental appointment. Dentists used to perform it to smoothen teeth, so various bacteria didn’t stick to the tooth that easily. However, polishing removes the exterior layer of tooth enamel (which takes a few months to rebuild) while the bacteria colonize on the surface regardless of the performed polishing. It is why coronal polishing should be selective, with an RDA polishing some, none, or all of the teeth.
Contraindications for coronal polishing include:
Areas of exposed cementum and dentin.
Patients with respiratory and infectious diseases, periodontitis/gingivitis, and unhealthy, spongy, edematous tissue.
Patients with metabolic alkalosis, Addison’s disease, hypertension, and Cushing’s syndrome.
Recession with tooth sensitivity.
Absence of stain.
What does “selective polishing” mean? It means that an RDA must carefully choose which teeth to polish. For example, if a patient has a decalcified tooth, you can polish all other teeth except that one. Dental Assistant should assess when a patient isn’t suited for coronal polishing because it can affect their oral health.
The Coronal Polishing exam is mandatory for all RDA Applicants who want to obtain their license
Getting ready for a special day? Want to appear more youthful? Gave up coffee, red wine, or smoking and wish to get rid of the stained teeth resulting from your former habits?
Whatever your reason for wanting whiter teeth, it's never been easier to have a brighter smile. Multiple options exist to whiten teeth, and some include UV, halogen, and LED lights designed to enhance the whitening process. But do you really need the extra expense of a light? And are the lights safe?
What Teeth Whitening Light Treatments Are Available?
At your convenience at home, you can apply any of the numerous over-the-counter treatments to whiten your teeth. Or your dentist can perform a cosmetic teeth whitening procedure in the office with at-home follow-ups if necessary. It all depends on your budget and time.
The types of treatments include everything from whitening toothpaste to products incorporating teeth whitening lights. There are primarily three types of lights used in teeth whitening:
UV (ultraviolet) light is a form of magnetic radiation that heats up in the tooth whitening process. A type of UV light used in teeth whitening is a laser. Teeth whitening employing UV light is usually performed in a dental office because of the burn risk of using UV at home.
Halogen light also emits heat produced by the metal tungsten in the heart of the light. As with UV light, halogen light is best used in dental offices.
LED (light-emitting diode) produces blue light to increase the teeth whitening process without any radiating heat to the teeth. Most over-the-counter tooth whitening kits with lights contain LED products – although dentists might use LED blue light, as well.
Does Light Teeth Whitening Work?
First up – how it works: The lights must be used in conjunction with a teeth-whitening substance, such as hydrogen peroxide or other whitening agents. After you or your dentist applies the whitening agent to your teeth, targeting the light on your teeth activates the whitener.
Is using light-activation worth it, though? Researchers found that laser, halogen, and LED light-activation produced increased lightening of tooth shade and maintained the lighter shade longer than non-light-activated teeth whitening in a study published in the Journal of Conservative Dentistry. Laser and halogen lights were most effective.
Is Teeth Whitening with Lights Safe?
This comes down to you or your dentist using the lights safely.
If not used correctly, UV light is considered a risk. It might cause soft tissue burning, gum irritation, damage to teeth, and increased tooth sensitivity. That's why your dental professionals will take every precaution to protect your teeth and gums when using UV light during a teeth whitening procedure.
For home use, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly as written. This entails the length of time to use the whitening agent and the LED light.
If you have questions about teeth whitening lights, have a conversation with your dental professionals about the treatments available. They'll help you decide what's right for you regarding whitening agents and light-activation methods, whether UV laser, halogen, or LED.
By shining a light on the various teeth whitening activation methods, we want to help you become a more informed dental consumer when you talk to your dental professional.