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A better smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

Published on March 24, 2017

smile

Cosmetic Dentistry

How Long Do Porcelain Veneers Last?

Published on October 25, 2016

porcelain veneers last

Porcelain veneers are an excellent way to disguise minor imperfections with your smile, such as discolored or cracked teeth. Since this is typically a cosmetic procedure, most dental insurance companies don’t provide coverage. However, you should check with your individual carrier to see if coverage is available in the event of facial trauma.

At Alpha Dental, we understand that two of the biggest patient concerns with this procedure are cost and durability. Like many people who are considering this elective cosmetic dentistry enhancement, you probably want to know “How long do porcelain veneers last?”

Typical Lifespan is One Decade

The results of several research studies indicate that patients can expect a lifespan of 15 years on the high end and five years on the low end for their porcelain veneers. In a 2007 study of 300 dental patients who opted for porcelain veneers, 96 percent of patients had their original veneers after five years. At 10 years, this percentage fell just three percentage points to 93 percent. By the 15-year mark, 73 percent of the 300 people still had the same veneers.

Since dental technology has improved in the intervening eight years, you can expect even greater longevity when you have your porcelain veneers placed by Dr. Ahmed or Dr. Pasha at Alpha Dental. We will provide you with detailed care instructions once the veneers are in place to ensure maximum longevity.

Factors Affecting the Longevity of Porcelain Veneers

Approximately one-third of the patients in the study referenced above requested their dentist to remove their veneers because they were no longer satisfied with the aesthetics. In some cases, patients developed an additional dental issue that a single veneer could no longer cover. Yet another cause of failure was the adhesive coming loose and causing the veneer to fall off. Patient behavior plays a large role in the latter case. To avoid a problem with the adhesive, it’s important to use gentle tooth brushing techniques and avoid habits such as teeth clenching and chewing on ice.

Contact Alpha Dental to Learn More about Porcelain Veneers

If you’re considering getting a porcelain veneer to improve the appearance of your smile, please contact our office to request a consultation. One of our dentists will gladly answer your questions in addition to showing you before and after photos of other patients who have chosen this procedure.

9 Facts About Fixed Dental Bridges

Published on September 29, 2016

fixed dental bridges

A fixed dental bridge is a preferred treatment for replacing a missing tooth or teeth. It is called a fixed dental bridge because it is not removable compared to dentures.

1. What is a dental bridge?

A dental bridge is a structure, supported by teeth on either side. It spans the gap between teeth, much like bridge spans a river

2. How is a dental bridge made?

First, your dentist will prepare the supports for the dental bridge. Dental crowns are placed over existing teeth as supports for a bridge. Your teeth will be pared down on either side of the gap, and your dentist takes an impression of the prepared teeth. The impressions will be sent to the dental technician or laboratory where the bridge will be made. After completion, your dentist will then cement the completed bridge over the prepared teeth.

3. How will my pared down teeth be protected until I the bridge is made?

Your dentist will install a temporary bridge that will protect your teeth and prevent sensitivity. A temporary bridge will look good and you also eat normally.

4. What is the fixed dental bridge usually made of?

A dental bridge is made of precious or non-precious metal to which tooth-colored porcelain is fused. Since the development of new stronger ceramic materials, bridges can now also be made entirely of porcelain.

5. Is the dental bridge preparation painful?

The bridge procedure is not painful because a local anesthetic is used while paring your teeth and when tyour dentist takes an impression. It is often unnecessary to take an analgesic for pain relief after the treatment.

6. Will there be any sensitivity after the bridges are placed?

Sensitivity to hot and cold sometimes occurs after the bridge has been cemented only temporary.

7. Will a fixed bridge look good?

Fixed dental bridges will be made to look natural and to match your existing natural teeth. A dental bridge will definitely restore and improve your smile.

8. How well will I be able to chew with a fixed dental bridge?

Eating with a fixed dental bridge will be as comfortable as with natural teeth.

9. How successful are fixed dental bridges?

Fixed dental bridges are used successfully to replace one or more missing teeth. They can last for many years if taken care of properly.

When Do You Need A Root Canal?

Published on August 29, 2016

root infections

Root canals are performed on teeth suffering from root infections within the teeth themselves, rather than in the gums.

It’s important to see the signs of infection before heading into the dentist’s office, though not all of these signs are obvious, and would have to be checked on in the dentist’s office regardless. However, there are some warning signals you can look out for. The earlier you catch the signs of infection, the easier and less painful the surgery and recovery will be.

Some risk factors for infection include recent facial trauma, chipped or cracked teeth, the presence of large fillings, or too many dental procedures on one tooth.

Severe Toothaches

Frequent and repeated toothaches while eating may be a sign of root infections. In this case, it could be that the deep root nerves in your teeth are inflamed, and react abnormally to pressure. You should give your Nashua dentist a call if you notice that chewing induces sharp pain deep in the gums.

Prolonged Temperature Sensitivity

When your teeth are exposed to extreme temperatures in foods, a bit of root freeze or root burn is natural to feel at first. However, if this sensitivity is staying around long after you’ve eaten the food, it may be a sign of an infection.

Darkening Teeth

The color of the dentin (main tooth tissue) may especially darken compared to your other teeth in the presence of infection. This is a fairly serious symptom; if you notice one of your teeth growing especially darker, call Dr. Ahmed as soon as possible.

Swelling of Gums

This can be a root or pulp infection or even a periodontal (gum) infection. Either way, if you notice that your gums are swollen or tender, regardless of what it might be, you should talk to Dr. Ahmed as soon as possible.

Persistent Periodontal Pimples

Pimples on the gums are another tell-tale sign of infection, though they are less urgent than swelling. If they recur often after they pop, or do not fully recover, it would be wise to schedule a checkup.

Remember: sometimes root infections don’t have visible or noticeable symptoms, and it’s important to visit the dentist regularly so as to preemptively stop the infection before it develops into a painful abscess.

Call us or make an appointment online to discuss a checkup with Dr. Ahmed and make sure you know the state of your teeth.

The Importance of Dental Check Up

Published on July 13, 2016

dental check up

Perhaps you wonder why it is important to come in for your bi-annual preventive check-up when you take such good care of your teeth at home. Isn’t the whole point of a quick oral examination to polish your teeth and determine if you have any cavities? The answer to that question is yes and no. Professional cleaning is important for the long-term health of your teeth, and Dr. Ahmed does need to routinely check for cavities. However, your twice-yearly appointment is about so much more than teeth cleaning.

The Typical Dental Check-Up at Alpha Dental

While she is busy looking for tooth decay, Dr. Ahmed also checks for gum disease and oral cancer. Spotting either of these conditions early gives you a much better chance of treating them successfully. If you normally wear a dental restoration, such as partial dentures or a dental bridge, Dr. Ahmed checks the condition of those as well.

Patients with significant plaque and tartar build-up may need to return to Alpha Dental for additional treatment. Your dentist will let you know at your check-up if you are a good candidate for a procedure known as root planing and scaling. This can also be part of a treatment plan for gum disease.

Your dental check-up usually includes a set of x-rays to help Dr. Ahmed spot anything out of the ordinary. This includes such things as deep tooth decay, cavities between teeth that may be hard to spot, infections, oral cysts, and impacted wisdom teeth. If your x-rays uncover a problem, Dr. Ahmed may refer you to another dental professional for additional treatment.

Keep Teeth Extra Bright with Professional Teeth Whitening

Even when you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and come in for regular preventive teeth cleaning, your smile may not be as bright as you would like. If not, consider our affordable dental cleaning package that you can use at home. Our staff would be happy to provide additional details by phone or at your next appointment.

How to Get a Brighter Smile

Published on June 13, 2016

 

teeth whitening servicesAs a child, the enamel of your teeth was naturally white. This changes as you age, usually due to lifestyle habits and food choices. Most people realize that smoking or drinking heavy amounts of coffee or cola can cause the teeth to gradually turn yellow. Other common reasons for the discoloration of your tooth enamel include hereditary, poor oral hygiene habits, eating foods or drinking beverages dark in color, or taking certain medications. When you visit Alpha Dental, we will provide you with a guide to whiten teeth.

Teeth Whitening Services at Alpha Dental

Teeth whitening services  typically takes two sessions of professional teeth whitening for you to see the results you desire. During your first appointment, Dr. Ahmed places a special dental putty in your mouth to take an impression of your upper and lower rows of teeth. He then sends the molds to our dental laboratory so our technicians can prepare your customized mouth trays. We will call you in for a second appointment when your trays are ready.

After ensuring that your mouth trays fit properly, Dr. Ahmed fills them with a bleaching gel to prepare for the whitening procedure. He first places a device in your mouth that keeps your lips off your teeth so they do not leave any saliva on them. Once he has completed both of these steps, he places the filled trays in your mouth and asks you to remain seated with them in for up to 45 minutes. For the last step, Dr. Ahmed removes the trays and uses a curing light to encourage faster brightening of the deepest layers of dentin.

It’s Easy to Achieve a Whiter Smile

It used to be that only movie stars and others with highly visible roles had teeth whitening performed by their dentist. This procedure has become increasingly popular over the years to the point where nearly anyone who desires it can have it done. Schedule your consultation today to learn more.

ClearCorrect is Proven Method to Straighten Teeth

Published on May 25, 2016

If you have crooked or crowded teeth, you may wonder how to straighten teeth without braces. Many people are not even aware that this is possible. With ClearCorrect Invisible Alignment, you can straighten your teeth by wearing clear plastic aligners instead of traditional metal braces. Your treatment remains invisible to others.clearcorrect

The benefits of getting your teeth aligned go far beyond a more attractive smile. If you have teeth that are properly aligned brushing and flossing will be an easier task. This reduces your chances of developing cavities or gum disease in addition to improving your long-term oral health.

What is ClearCorrect?

ClearCorrect is the name brand of a set of customized aligners designed specifically for your treatment plan. At your first appointment with Dr. Ahmed of Alpha Dental, he takes several X-rays of your teeth and completes an oral evaluation so he can plan your orthodontic treatment. He also takes an impression of your teeth in their current position. A few weeks after you start wearing your first ClearCorrect aligner, you should exchange it for the next one. Dr. Ahmed sends you home with a set of aligners that puts increasing pressure on the teeth to move them into position.

Treatment with ClearCorrect plastic aligners offers several benefits over traditional metal braces. The trays are removable, which means that you can eat anything you like without fear of breaking them. With metal braces, food often gets stuck in the brackets and can be difficult to remove. ClearCorrect gives you the ability to remove your retainers for cleaning, and the customized trays are more comfortable than brackets and wires. Finally, treatment with ClearCorrect can be up to six months shorter in duration than with metal braces.

If you’re wondering why you should get an orthodontic consultation, keep in mind that not everyone is a good candidate for ClearCorrect due to an overbite, underbite, or other issues. Dr. Ahmed can let you know right away if this is something you should pursue.

What Are Dentures?

Published on March 21, 2016

Post11If you’re missing some or all of your natural teeth, you have probably spent considerable time considering your options for tooth replacement.

After researching several of them, you may still be wondering “What are dentures?” Dentures are a removable appliance that conceals your tooth loss in addition to returning the full functionality of your mouth. You are able to chew, speak, and smile with ease again. You risk infection as well as alignment problems when you don’t replace missing teeth.

What Type of Denture is Right for You?

Dr. Ahmed will install complete dentures when you have lost all of your natural teeth to dental disease, trauma, or decay. Complete dentures consist of a row of 14 teeth for your top jaw and 14 for your lower jaw. This is the normal number of teeth that adults have without including the wisdom teeth. When you’re missing two or more consecutive teeth on the same arch, he will install partial dentures. You can replace a single missing tooth with a dental bridge to secure the replacement tooth in place.

You can choose to get immediate or conventional dentures when all of your natural teeth have been extracted or lost. With the first option, we make your replacement teeth on-site and install them in one appointment. You will need to visit Dr. Ahmed a few times in the weeks immediately following the procedure just to make sure that the dentures fit correctly and that your jaw and gum tissues have healed properly.

With traditional dentures, you may need to wait several weeks or months from the time Dr. Ahmed extracts your teeth to when he can install the new dentures. This allows for optimal gum tissue healing, but it does leave you without teeth in the meantime. We are happy to provide you with a set of temporary dentures until your customized permanent dentures are ready.

Schedule a Consultation to Learn More About Dentures

The staff at Alpha Dental knows that choosing among the various options for teeth replacement is a big decision. We encourage you to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Ahmed so he can discuss dentures with you in more detail. He is also open to discussing other alternatives if you decide against removable dentures.

What is a Tooth Filling?

Published on March 7, 2016

Post10When Dr. Ahmed tells patients they have a cavity and need to get a filling, they often ask “What is a tooth filling?” When you receive a filling, Dr. Ahmed removes the diseased or infected part of the tooth with a dental drill. He then uses filling material to cover the open spot.

Dental fillings help to preserve your tooth in addition to protecting it from additional decay. You could eventually lose a tooth if you neglect to have a simple cavity filled. A filling may also be necessary if one of your teeth has sustained a minor fracture.

Differences Between Composite and Metal Tooth Fillings

Alpha Dental is pleased to offer patients the option of composite fillings. This tooth-colored filling material closely matches the shade of your teeth, making it almost impossible for others to detect. Many patients prefer composite fillings for the improved aesthetics alone. It takes just one appointment for Dr. Ahmed to complete the process of applying a composite filling. These fillings resist staining better than other alternatives, but they can also be bulkier. To ensure that a ceramic filling remains firmly in your mouth, Dr. Ahmed may need to remove a small amount of tooth enamel before placing it.

Mercury makes up about half of the materials used in traditional metal fillings, which also go by the name silver amalgam fillings. Other materials include zinc, copper, tin, silver, and mercury. This was the treatment of choice for decades in the field of dentistry. However, many patients expressed concern about their appearance after receiving a metal filling as well as the remote possibility of mercury breaking free from the filling and entering their bloodstream. Since both types protect and preserve your tooth, you’re free to decide what works best for you.

Contact Us with Questions

Dr. Ahmed or a member of his staff would be happy to discuss the types of fillings in more detail when you discuss treatment planning with him. He will also let you know exactly what you can expect. If you suspect that you may have a cavity, we urge you not to delay in seeking treatment at Alpha Dental.

 

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Published on February 21, 2016

Patients who feel dissatisfied with some aspect of their smile often ask Dr. Saeed Ahmed at Alpha Dental, “What is cosmetic dentistry?” They may have a specific procedure in mind, but often don’t understand this dental discipline as a whole. Cosmetic dentistry is any voluntary procedure that you undertake for the primary purpose of improving your appearance. Our clinic is pleased to offer several options for your consideration.

Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures at Alpha Dental

Below is a list of the services we offer to improve your aesthetics.

  • Clear Connect Braces: These invisible braces are an excellent alternative to typical orthodontic treatment with metal wires and brackets. With Clear Connect, you wear clear plastic aligners that you swap out at an interval Dr. Ahmed determines during your initial treatment planning. Besides the discrete appearance, having your teeth straightened with Clear Connect generally takes less time than with metal braces.
  • Composite Fillings: Unlike traditional filling material made of mercury, these types of fillings are white and blend in better because they match the shade of your teeth. Another benefit is that you don’t have to worry about the small chance of a mercury filling breaking free and causing an infection in your mouth.
  • Dental Crowns: A crown or a cap goes over a tooth to provide additional support when it has been weakened by tooth decay or any number of dental diseases. It also helps to conceal slight blemishes of the teeth such as a stain or a crack.
  • Fixed Dental Bridges: A dental bridge is a permanent option to replace a single tooth or several teeth in a row that are missing. Dr. Ahmed places brackets behind the teeth on either side of the missing tooth to act as support for the new dental bridge.
  • Porcelain Veneers: A dental veneer is a wafer-thin piece of ceramic that Dr. Ahmed affixes to the front of your tooth to disguise gaps, stains, chips, and other cosmetic issues. He sometimes needs to remove up to an eighth of a millimeter of tooth enamel to give the porcelain veneer a snug fit.
  • Teeth Whitening: Your lifestyle habits, such as smoking, drinking coffee, or eating dark-colored foods, can all have a lasting effect on your teeth. You can brighten the shade of your teeth by several times with professional teeth whitening. During this procedure, Dr. Ahmed places a tray of whitening gel on your top and bottom rows of teeth that brighten them at a deep level.

We encourage you to schedule an in-office consultation to learn more about the specific cosmetic dentistry procedure that interests you.

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