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Teeth Whitening – A Popular Trend

Tooth whitening lightens teeth and helps to remove stains and discoloration. Whitening is among the most popular cosmetic dental procedures because it can greatly improve how your teeth look. Most dentists perform tooth whitening.

There are two main types of whitening procedures. Vital whitening is performed on teeth that have live nerves. Non-vital whitening is done on a tooth that has had root-canal treatment and no longer has a live nerve

Whitening is not a one-time procedure. It will need to be repeated from time to time if you want to maintain the brighter color.

We offer professional white strips or we can make custom trays that use gel bleach for patients to use at home.

To help you make an educational decision regarding teeth whitening, here are some of the pros of this procedure.
  • Helps improve your smile and your appearance
  • Boosts a person’s self esteem
  • Helps make you look younger

Still have questions on teeth whitening? Ask us and we can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have.

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Carver Dental is a friendly family practice for kids and adults

Dr. Leon Spivak takes pride in providing peerless smile makeovers utilizing the latest techniques in cosmetic and restorative dentistry. However, Dr. Spivak knows that even the most beautiful smile won’t last when building on a weak foundation. That’s why he stresses the importance of regular dental examinations and professional cleanings, along with a strong oral hygiene routine at home.

Dental Exam and Cleaning

We are Carver Dental take pride in providing the most thorough dental examinations and professional cleanings available to his patients.  A complete oral examination, which everybody should have every six months, includes the following:

Tooth Examination: A member of our team will use a small mirror and pick to inspect the patient’s teeth. The pick is used to help detect cavities, inspect fillings, and to test the strength of the enamel.

X-rays:  X-rays allow Dr. Spivak to review the patient’s tooth roots, fillings, and jaw bone structure are healthy.  Dr. Spivak can also use former X-rays of a patient’s mouth as a reference point in case future problems arise.

Gum (Periodontal) Examination:  Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in America, and most adults suffer from some form of gum, or periodontal, disease.  A team member will carefully examines each patient’s gums for signs of disease such as discoloration and swelling.

Oral Cancer Screening:  A team member will inspect the patient’s face, neck, gums, lips, tongue, tissues and throat for any signs of oral cancer.

Head and Neck Examination:  A team member may examine the patient’s head and neck to uncover any abnormalities in the salivary glands and where the jaw bones meet.  The head and neck examination is helpful in the diagnosis of TMJ or other bite problems the patient may have.

Dental Cleaning: Once our team have completed the patient’s examination, a hygienist will thoroughly clean his or her teeth. Even the most vigilant of brushers and flossers can still benefit from a professional dental cleaning, which can remove more calculus (tartar) and plaque than a patient can at home. To complete the cleaning and to give the teeth a brilliant shine, the patient’s teeth will be polished.

A preventive program is a cooperative effort by the patient, dentist, and dental staff to preserve the natural dentition and supporting structures by preventing the onset, progress, and recurrence of dental diseases and conditions.

Preventing dental disease starts at home with good oral hygiene and a balanced diet.  It is continued in the dental office by the efforts of your dentist and dental hygienist to promote, restore, and maintain your oral health.

Prevention also includes regular dental exams, cleanings, and x-rays. Sealants and fluoride are also great preventive treatments that help protect the teeth.
Prevention helps avoid serious and costly dental problems and is the key to having a healthy, confident, beautiful smile.

Restorative dentistry concerns factors or issues related to the overall health and function of a smile. Teeth that have been damaged, cracked, broken or infected are treated with restorative dentistry. If you have a tooth or teeth that are damaged and need to be repaired, or if you are missing one or more teeth, Dr. Spivak can help with restorative dentistry.

Restorative Dentistry Procedures

Dr. Spivak offers a broad range of procedures designed to restore function and beauty to his patients’ smiles.  Some of the restorative dentistry procedures offered include:
•    Dental Crowns
•    Dental Bridges
•    Dental Implant Restoration
•    White (Composite) Fillings

Some patients opt to combine one or more restorative dentistry procedures with cosmetic dentistry solutions to achieve a full smile makeover.

In the past decade there has been a dramatic interest in cosmetic dentistry.  We all realize that having a healthy, bright, beautiful smile enhances our appearance and allows us to smile with confidence.  Thanks to the advances in modern cosmetic dentistry, we are able to improve our teeth and smiles with quick, painless and surprisingly affordable treatments.

Cosmetic dental treatments can:

•    Change the size, shape, and alignment of certain teeth.
•    Repair decayed, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth.
•    Replace missing teeth.
•    Replace old, unattractive dental treatments.

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Several different options are available to change the shape of teeth, make teeth look longer, close spaces between teeth or repair chipped or cracked teeth. Among the options are bonding, crowns, veneers, and re-contouring.

Dental bonding is a procedure in which a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) is applied to the tooth surface and hardened with a special light, which ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth.

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over teeth. The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Veneers (also sometimes called porcelain veneers or dental porcelain laminates) are wafer-thin, custom-made shells of tooth-colored materials that are designed to cover the front surface of teeth. These shells are bonded to the front of the teeth.

Re-contouring or reshaping of the teeth (also called odontoplasty, enameloplasty, stripping, or slenderizing) is a procedure in which small amounts of tooth enamel are removed to change a tooth’s length, shape or surface.

Each of these options differ with regard to cost, durability, “chair time” necessary to complete the procedure, stain resistant qualities, and best cosmetic approach to resolving a specific problem. Talk to your dentist to see if one is right for you.

Whitening toothpaste can appear to whiten teeth slightly by removing surface stains, such as those caused by drinking coffee or smoking. However, whitening toothpastes can’t change the natural color of your teeth or lighten a stain that goes deeper than a tooth’s surface.

Here’s some advice. First, when purchasing a toothpaste for you or your child, select one that contains fluoride. Toothpastes with fluoride have been shown to prevent cavities. One word of caution: check the manufacturer’s label. Some toothpastes are not recommended in children under age 6. This is because young children swallow toothpaste, and swallowing too much fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration in permanent teeth.

It is also wise to select a product approved by the American Dental Association. The ADA’s Seal of Acceptance means that the product has met ADA criteria for safety and effectiveness, and that packaging and advertising claims are scientifically supported. Some manufacturers choose not to seek the ADA’s Seal of Acceptance. Although these products might be safe and effective, these products’ performance have not been evaluated or endorsed by the ADA.

It’s helpful for many people who are fearful to know that they are not alone. It’s also important to realize that help is available. Actually, experience has shown that even people who have extreme fear about dental procedures can get over their fears and learn to have dental treatment in a manner that feels calm and safe.

Fortunately, the dose of radiation you are exposed to during the taking of dental X-rays is extremely small, especially if your dentist is using digital X-rays.

Advances in dentistry over the years have lead to a number of measures that will minimize the risks associated with X-rays. However, even with the advancements in safety, the effects of radiation are added together over a lifetime. So every little bit of radiation you receive from all sources counts.

If you are concerned about radiation exposure due to X-rays, talk to your dentist about how often X-rays are needed and why they are being taken. While some people need X-rays taken more frequently, current guidelines require that X-rays be given only when needed for clinical diagnosis.

Who should get dental sealants?

Dental sealants are intended for young children as soon as their first teeth come in. Decay is most common in the molars, so taking your child for sealants right when you see the molars grow in gives your child the best chance to fight tooth decay.

A child’s first set of permanent molars grow in between ages five and seven, while the second permanent molars come in between 11 and 14 years of age. Some teens and adults who don’t have tooth decay may get sealants as well, but it is less common.

How long do dental sealants last?

Once the sealant has been placed on the teeth, it lasts up to ten years. Have your Dentist check the sealant at every office visit, which should be twice a year. We will look at the sealant and determine if it needs to be replaced.