Natural looking dentures – is it possible?

Have you ever met someone who you immediately knew was wearing dentures? It doesn’t have to be like that. These days dentures can be made to look so natural that only the trained eye can tell that they’re not your natural teeth. How?

natural looking denturesHave you ever met someone who you immediately knew was wearing dentures? Maybe the teeth were too big, too perfect, too straight or too white? Or maybe the dentures just didn’t fit and kept dropping down or sliding around when the person was talking or eating? An experience like this is often enough to discourage anyone from choosing dentures as the replacement for lost teeth. But it doesn’t have to be like that. These days dentures can be made to look so natural that only the trained eye can tell that they’re not your natural teeth. How?

Do you really want natural looking dentures?

First of all, you need to decide whether you really want natural looking dentures. If you don’t want anyone to notice that you exchanged your natural teeth for dentures, you will need to have your dentures made to look exactly like the original teeth with all their imperfections, such as miscolorations, cracks and visible fillings. Others decide that changing to dentures is their chance to get the teeth they always wanted. Although they might be happy with their perfect, white new teeth, this change will probably not go unnoticed by their friends and relatives. Others might find it unusual too, to see such a young looking set of teeth on a not so young looking person. Still others decide to go with with a set of dentures that is just slightly better looking than the original teeth. They reason that most people are not in the habit of studying other peoples’ teeth so closely that they would notice small changes like that. Which is probably true.

How to get natural looking dentures

If you decide to go for the natural look, make sure that your dentist takes note of exactly how your original teeth look. If many teeth are already missing, bring a photo of yourself where you are smiling and thus showing off your natural teeth. This will also help the dentist see, not only what the dentures are supposed to look like, but also how the impression should be of your whole face when you are finally wearing the dentures. Dentures when worn should not be too tall or protruding, making it difficult to close your lips around them and they should not be so low that they never show when you smile. If you find that you suddenly have wrinkles around your mouth, especially at the corners is a sign that your dentures are too small or too low. If you’ve had dentures for a long time and start to experience these problems it is also a sign that your need to have your dentures refitted or maybe even changed.

The above is just a simplified introduction to achieving natural looking dentures. Your dentist will be able to give you much more advice and guidance. Hopefully, at least this article has convinced you that a change to dentures does not need to become the talk of the town. Your dentures can be made to look so natural, that only you and your dentist will ever need to know about it.

Teeth implants – what and why?

Teeth implants are the best alternative when you need a tooth replacement that looks and functions like a natural tooth without damaging the neighbouring teeth. But what are teeth implants and why might you choose this treatment? Read more…

Teeth implantsWhat are teeth implants?

Teeth implants are artificial roots of metal that are implanted in your jaw bone to replace missing teeth. On top of the implanted metal root it is possible to attach a crown, a bridge or a set of dentures depending on how many teeth need to be replaced. If cared for properly teeth implants can function and look exactly like natural teeth and can last much longer than most of their alternatives.

What are teeth implants made of?

The roots of teeth implants are made of titanium. Titanium is a very suitable metal for implants, because it is able to interact with the natural bone tissue in such a way that the implants become integrated into the jaw bone. This proces is called osseointegration and is a unique quality in titanium the discovery of which made implants possible. The roots of the implants are normally shaped like a screw which makes the integration very strong. Crowns attached on top of teeth implants are normally made of porcelain to make the implants look as natural as possible.

Why choose teeth implants?

Dental bridges and dentures are good alternatives to implants and will in many cases be the preferred choice. In other cases there is a wish to replace the missing teeth with something that functions and looks more like the natural teeth. This might be the case with young people who lost a tooth because of caries or trauma, and where the bone structure and surrounding teeth are healthy and sound. In these situations teeth implants are a good alternative.

Sometimes teeth implants are also used to add retention to dentures or to attach bridges onto, when there are no natural teeth that can serve as anchors. When implants are used as anchors for dentures, ‘snap-in’ buttons’ are attached on top of the implants instead of porcelain crowns. More about dentures and dental bridges here.

Teeth whitening – external or internal?

Humans have always preferred white teeth. Already more than 2000 years ago the Egyptians started to develop techniques to whiten their teeth. The technology that is used today was only invented a little more than 50 years ago. This article will discuss the two most common methods of whitening teeth.

white teeth whitening bleachingHumans have always preferred white teeth. Already more than 2000 years ago the Egyptians tried to develop a whitening technique using urin. The somewhat more hygienic whitening technique that is used today, however was only invented a little more than 50 years ago. This article will discuss the two most common teeth whitening techniques used today: External and internal whitening.

External whitening
If the stains on your teeth are external, they are quite simple to treat with external teeth whitening. This can be done either at the dental clinic by the dentist or in your home, using a tray and a whitening gel that you apply yourself. The ‘active ingredient’ in the products for both professional and at-home teeth whitening is usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. As the active ingredient is broken down, oxygen gets into the enamel on the teeth and the colour of the teeth is made lighter.

If you choose to do the whitening in your home, you will first need to go to the dentist to have a tray made. The tray is designed to fit your teeth perfectly, but with a gap for the whitening gel between the tray and the front side of your teeth. If the tray does not fit closely to the teeth, excess whitening gel might spread from the tray to your mouth with the risk of you swallowing some of it. Before making the tray, your dentist will make impressions of your teeth and produce a model according to which the tray will be made. When the tray is finished, your dentist will give you the whitening gel and instruct you on how to use it in your home. You will normally need to use the tray every day for 1-2 hours (or all night) for 2 to 4 weeks untill the desired results are achieved. The price for this kind of teeth whitening can vary from clinic to clinic so ask around before you make your decision.

A both simpler and faster solution is to have your whitening treatment performed by your dentist in the clinic. With this method the same results can be achieved as with at-home whitening products, but in much shorter time (as little as one visit). The reason that teeth whitening in the dental office is faster is, that the gel used by the dentist has a much higher concentration of carbamide peroxide (up to 35%) than the at-home products (10%). The higher concentration of whitener would not be safe for you to use in your home, but when the whitening procedure is performed by a professional, it is safe enough. Many dentists choose to supplement the whitening treatment with laser light which supposedly accelerates the whitening proces. The greatest disadvantage of the professional whitening is that it is much more expensive than the at-home procedure.

Internal whitening
If the discoloration of a tooth originates from within, e.g. from a root canal treated tooth, internal whitening is an effective method to improve it’s appearance. In order to bleach the tooth from the inside, it is necessary to remove the surface filling and part of the root filling as well. The crown chamber is cleansed and a whitening agent is placed inside. A temporary filling is placed on top to close the opening. After one week the tooth is opened again, the whitening agent removed and the procedure is repeated. It will often be necessary to repeat the procedure three to four times before the desired results are achieved. When the whitening treatment is done, a light glasionomer cement filling is placed in the deepest part of the tooth with a plast filling on top. This treatment might be a good alternative to having the tooth capped. Especially if the tooth is otherwise healthy and the only problem is the discoloration.