Our Dental Blog

Posts for tag: cosmetic dentistry

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
December 19, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental Implant SmileLearn more about this popular tooth replacement and how it works.

Are you wondering whether or not dental implants are the right approach for restoring your smile after tooth loss? If you are a healthy adult who is missing one or more teeth, dental implants might just be the perfect solution for filling those gaps and improving your oral health. Read below to learn more about how dental implants can replace your missing teeth for life, and call Decatur, IL, dentist, Dr. Carol Cunningham, if you are interested in undergoing treatment.

 

What’s so special about dental implants?

Well, actually there are a lot of unique benefits that this tooth replacement can offer adults that are dealing with tooth loss. First of all, dental implants are the closest you can come to natural teeth in both comfort and stability. Secondly, their versatility allows them to be used to replace a single missing tooth, an entire row of teeth, or anything in between. Plus, dental implants stay put, so you don’t have to worry about them shifting or moving around when talking and eating.

 

How do dental implants work?

The secret to dental implants lies in the fact that they are designed to function just like real tooth roots. For this to happen, you will visit our Decatur, IL, office to have the implant placed into the jawbone (this will require minor surgery). Once the implant is placed into the jawbone, we will give your mouth up to six months to heal. During this time, the jawbone and gum tissue will heal around the implant, melding with it to become a strong and durable unit from which to support a false tooth.

Once the implant and the jawbone are one, we will continue the treatment process by cementing a dental crown onto the implant. The crown will also need to be customized to fit your smile, given that, while your implant won’t be visible when you smile, the dental crown will be. Our goal is to create the most realistic dental restoration possible so that the only person who knows you have a dental crown is you.

 

Who is a good candidate for dental implants?

There are several factors to consider before deciding whether or not you are right for dental implants. You could be an ideal candidate for an implant if you are a healthy adult with a strong jawbone who is looking for a long-term solution to replacing one or more permanent teeth. If you want to find out if dental implants are right for you then it’s time to schedule an evaluation with us!

At the Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL, we believe that everyone deserves to have perfect smiles regardless of damage or tooth loss. If you are an adult who is looking for the best way to replace missing teeth, then call our office today at (217) 422-7448.

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
December 05, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  
NewYearNewSmile

As December brings the old year to a close, it’s a great time to set goals for the year to come. This might include a major life change, such as a new job—or even a new romance! If one of these items is on your list for 2019, a smile makeover may be just the thing to help you get there.

Having a great smile can give your self-confidence a real boost. It can also affect how you are perceived by others. According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, 99.7% of adults believe a smile is an important social asset and 96% believe an attractive smile makes a person more appealing to members of the opposite sex. At the same time, three quarters of adults feel that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success.

If you aren’t pleased with your smile and want a new look, we can help you figure out which cosmetic dental treatments could be right for you. The answer might be something simple—like an overall brightening of the smile with professional teeth whitening, or fixing a small crack or chip in a single tooth with cosmetic tooth bonding. If you’re unhappy with worn-down or crooked teeth, dental veneers or orthodontic treatment might be the way to go. In fact, many adults find that orthodontic treatment with clear aligners is a great way to get a beautiful, straight smile without drawing attention to the fact that a makeover is in progress.

Of course, it’s not only important for your smile to look good but also for your whole mouth to stay healthy. So if you are experiencing any tooth pain, unusual mouth sores or gum problems, it’s time for you to come in for an exam. And if it’s been a while since you’ve had a dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning, why not make an appointment for early in the year? Don’t start the new year with last year’s dental problems!

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments or preventive dentistry, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “How Your Dentist Can Help You Look Younger” and “Dental Hygiene Visit.”

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
November 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  
LookingGoodfortheHolidays

The holidays are a time for getting together with family and friends from near and far. The memories you make at these joyful celebrations are the ones you’ll treasure forever, but it can be hard to show good cheer if you’re not happy with the way your teeth look. If you’re keeping that grin under wraps, we may be able to perk up your smile with some quick and economical in-office treatments.

A professional teeth cleaning is one of the best values in dental care. In just minutes, we can remove the buildup of hardened tartar that can make your teeth look dull and yellowed. Tartar can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease—two kinds of trouble you don’t need! While you’re in the office, you will also have a thorough exam that could prevent minor issues like small cavities and bleeding gums from becoming more serious dental problems. When you leave, your teeth will look and feel sparkly clean.

If your smile doesn’t look as bright as you’d like, ask about teeth whitening treatments. In-office whitening is a safe and effective way to lighten your teeth up to 10 shades in a single visit! If you have more time, you can get similar results from a take-home kit that we can provide—one that’s custom-made just for you.

Are chips or cracks making your teeth look less than perfect? Cosmetic bonding could be the answer. Translucent, tooth-colored bonding material can be applied to your teeth to repair minor cracks, chips or spacing irregularities. This in-office procedure usually requires just one visit and can make a dramatic difference in your smile.

So as holiday celebrations draw near, why not give yourself a reason to smile? Contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation to see if professional teeth cleaning, teeth whitening or cosmetic bonding could give your smile some holiday sparkle! You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered.”

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
October 10, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Are you interested in getting veneers?veneers

Your dentist understands the importance of having a beautiful smile. Dr. Carol Cunningham at Gentle Art of Dentistry in Decatur, IL assess your teeth to make sure there aren't any serious problems like cavities. If there are cavities, she will need to clean them out and seal them.

Afterwards, she will remove some enamel off the surface of your teeth and place the porcelain veneers, which are basically thin shells. The veneers will fit evenly along your teeth because they are custom made and the enamel removed makes way for them.

The veneers you decide to have placed are a great way to conceal unappealing issues:

  • They hide stained and/or discolored teeth, which aren't attractive anymore because of poor habits like smoking, chewing tobacco, drinking tea or coffee, and eating heavily pigmented foods. Even some antibiotics, such as tetracycline, may cause teeth to become discolored.
  • Another issue people suffer from and want to conceal is mishappened teeth like worn or chipped teeth, uneven surfaces, crooked teeth, uneven spacing, like overcrowdedness, and irregularly shaped teeth.
  • Veneers are also great for concealing dents, cracks and fractures, and grooves on the surface of your teeth that may have been caused by trauma.

While the process is simple and non-invasive, removing enamel is a permanent decision. So make sure you speak to your Decatur dentist.

Also, keeping up with your healthy oral regimen will help keep your smile intact for as long as possible. So brush twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Make sure to brush for two whole minutes and angle your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. Flossing should also be a part of your dental care. Floss at least once before bed and don't miss your bi-annual checkups with your dentist.

If you're interested in veneers and have questions for Dr. Carol Cunningham, then call you Decatur, IL, dentist today! Your smile and health are important.

By Carol A. Cunningham, DDS
April 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
DentalMagicTransformsSmiles

Magician Michel Grandinetti can levitate a 500-pound motorcycle, melt into a 7-foot-tall wall of solid steel, and make borrowed rings vanish and reappear baked inside bread. Yet the master illusionist admits to being in awe of the magic that dentists perform when it comes to transforming smiles. In fact, he told an interviewer that it’s “way more important magic than walking through a steel wall because you’re affecting people’s health… people’s confidence, and you’re really allowing people to… feel good about themselves.”

Michael speaks from experience. As a teenager, his own smile was enhanced through orthodontic treatment. Considering the career path he chose for himself — performing for multitudes both live and on TV — he calls wearing an orthodontic device (braces) to align his crooked teeth “life-changing.” He relies on his welcoming, slightly mischievous smile to welcome audiences and make the initial human connection.

A beautiful smile is definitely an asset regardless of whether you’re performing for thousands, passing another individual on a sidewalk or even, research suggests, interviewing for a job. Like Michael, however, some of us need a little help creating ours. If something about your teeth or gums is making you self-conscious and preventing you from smiling as broadly as you could be, we have plenty of solutions up our sleeve. Some of the most popular include:

  • Tooth Whitening. Professional whitening in the dental office achieves faster results than doing it yourself at home, but either approach can noticeably brighten your smile.
  • Bonding. A tooth-colored composite resin can be bonded to a tooth to replace missing tooth structure, such a chip.
  • Veneers. This is a hard, thin shell of tooth-colored material bonded to the front surface of a tooth to change its color, shape, size and/or length; mask dental imperfections like stains, cracks, or chips, and compensating for excessive gum tissue.
  • Crowns. Sometimes too much of a tooth is lost due to decay or trauma to support a veneer. Instead, capping it with a natural-looking porcelain crown can achieve the same types of improvements. A crown covers the entire tooth replacing more of its natural structure than a veneer does.

If you would like more information about ways in which you can transform your smile, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the techniques mentioned above by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Teeth Whitening,” “Repairing Chipped Teeth,” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”