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Posts for: December, 2016

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
December 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

What your cosmetic dentist in Winston-Salem wants you to know

You have over 70 different types of bacteria in your mouth, but most of them don’t cause any damage. In fact, theycosmetic dentistry occur naturally. There are only three different types of oral bacteria that are harmful, but these three can cause major damage to your gums, teeth and bone. Dr. Denise Perrotta in Winston-Salem, NC wants to tell you a little bit about these bacteria and share some cosmetic dental treatments to hide the damage and renew your smile.

Tooth decay is most often caused by Streptococcus mutans; bacteria that can combine with the sugar in the foods you eat and produce acids strong enough to destroy tooth enamel. Also known as S. mutans, these bacteria grow in all areas of your mouth.

Periodontal disease is caused by two types of bacteria that don’t require oxygen to thrive. Treponema denticola and Porphyromonas gingivalis live under your gumline and cause inflammation of your gums. They also produce toxins that destroy bone and connective tissue support around your teeth, resulting in tooth mobility and loss of teeth.

Cosmetic dentistry from Dr. Perrotta can hide much of the damage caused by bacteria, genetics or other factors. When you choose cosmetic dentistry from Winston-Salem, consider these procedures to enhance your smile:

Teeth whitening treatments, which whiten your teeth up to 8 shades whiter, with dramatic results that can last up to 5 years; you can choose a quick in-office treatment that takes about an hour, or a convenient take-home whitening kit which allows you to whiten when you want.

Bonding, which repairs small cracks, chips or defects in your teeth; you can also close small gaps between teeth.

Contouring and reshaping, which is often done in combination with bonding; this procedure can reshape poorly-shaped, rotated or damaged teeth, creating a totally natural smile.

Porcelain veneers, which can mask teeth that are:

  • Damaged or broken from decay or other factors
  • Excessively worn down from aging or poor bite alignment
  • Discolored or stained from lifestyle or medications

You don’t have to settle for a smile damaged by bacteria and decay, or a compromised smile due to genetics. Your new smile is just a phone call away. Call Dr. Perrotta in Winston-Salem, NC. You owe it to yourself to discover the magic of cosmetic dentistry, so call today!

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
December 22, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

You've seen the ads for obtaining a new tooth in one day with a dental implant. Those aren't exaggerated claims — you can leave the dental office the same day with a new tooth that looks and functions like the old one.

But the dramatic marketing aside, there is a bit more to the story. Same day tooth replacement isn't appropriate in every situation. And even when it is, there are risks for failure.

We can minimize those risks, however, by focusing on certain goals during the three distinct phases in the process: removing the natural tooth; placing the metal implant into the jawbone; and affixing the visible, crown.

It's crucial during tooth extraction that we avoid damaging the socket bone that will ultimately support the implant's titanium post. If the socket walls break down it could set up future gum recession or cause us to abort the implant procedure altogether that day.

When placing the implant, we want to focus on achieving a strong hold. Due to its special affinity with titanium, bone cells gradually grow and adhere to the post to firmly anchor the implant in time. But since we're immediately loading a crown rather than allowing the bone to fully integrate first, we need to ensure the implant has a secure hold from the get-go. We can only achieve this with precise placement based on careful examination and planning, as well as adequate bone.

Even so, the implant still needs to integrate with the bone for a lasting hold, and that takes time. Even with normal biting forces the implant risks damage during this integration period. That's why we place a temporary crown a little shorter than the surrounding teeth. Those adjacent teeth will take the brunt of the biting force and not the implant.

Once the bone has fully integrated, we'll replace the temporary crown with a permanent one the proper height proportional to the other teeth. Even with the temporary crown, though, you'll still have a life-like tooth the day we removed the older one.

The key to success is planning — first determining if you meet the criteria for a same-day implant and then mapping out and carefully executing each succeeding step. Doing this will ensure your same-day implant is a success from day one.

If you would like more information on same-day tooth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Same-Day Tooth Replacement with Dental Implants.”

By Denise A. Perrotta DMD
December 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.

What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!

Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.

If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.

For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.

Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.

Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.

So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.

If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”

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