Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

  Contact : 1234 19th Street NW Suite 604 | Call us: 202.296.7714

Archive for August 2015

porcelain veneers candidate

Are you a good candidate for porcelain veneers?

Achieving a dramatic smile makeover is just one of the powers of porcelain veneers. Many popular TV and Movie stars have transformed their smiles with porcelain veneers and it helps them shine flawlessly on the red carpet. These thin shells of custom-crafted porcelain have many benefits as a cosmetic dentistry treatment and it’s important to understand what makes a good candidate for porcelain veneers and when an alternative cosmetic treatment might work better.

Good candidates for porcelain veneers

The only way to know for sure if you’re a good candidate for porcelain veneers is to schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist. However, a majority of patients curious about porcelain veneers to improve their smile are good candidates for the procedure. Good candidates for porcelain veneers have a healthy mouth free of tooth decay and gum disease. Porcelain veneers conceal various aesthetic flaws in front teeth including:

  • Inconsistent size, shape, or length
  • Discoloration and/or staining
  • Chips or cracks
  • Small gaps between teeth
  • Slightly crooked teeth

For a dentist to fit you with porcelain veneers, you need to have realistic expectations of the procedure involved and understand that it’s not reversible. The procedure for porcelain veneers alters the shape of your teeth, which means they’ll always require porcelain veneers to look cosmetically appropriate. Prior to placement of veneers, the dentist removes enamel from your teeth surfaces and if a veneer wears out or comes off, your teeth won’t look or function as they should.

Achieving ideal results

With beautifully customized porcelain veneers, dentists have the ability to complement their patients’ surrounding natural teeth by matching the shape, color, size and texture. An experienced cosmetic dentist creates veneers that give their patients stunning smiles that appear healthy and natural without seeming artificial. Dentists carefully evaluate patients to ensure that porcelain veneers are a suitable option before they even begin treatment. When the patients follow up with good oral hygiene and regular exams, it helps porcelain veneers last for a decade or more in ideal conditions. For patients that don’t qualify for veneers, cosmetic dentists offer alternative options that can give patients the beautiful smile they’ve been looking for.

If you’re uncomfortable or embarrassed to smile, trust Dupont Dental to find a cosmetic treatment suitable for your needs. Along with porcelain veneers, we offer bonding, porcelain crowns, composite (tooth-colored) fillings, teeth whitening, and dental implants to improve and restore your healthy smile.

Read More
White teeth at home

Tips for Whiter Teeth

Stains and discoloration on teeth can happen when people age, but many other causes have nothing to do with age, such as food, drinks, medications and even mouthwashes. Visiting the dentist for an in-office teeth whitening treatment is a safe, effective way to remove surface stains and brighten your smile, but there are also steps you can take at home to prevent discoloration and maintain a healthy mouth.

Foods for whiter teeth

Eating crunchy foods including apples, carrots, pears and celery trigger saliva production that helps wash away food debris from your teeth. You can also chew sugarless gum to trigger saliva, and it’s also a tooth-cleaning action. Saliva neutralizes the acid in your mouth that can cause tooth decay and cavities that discolor your teeth and damage oral health.

Whitening dental work

When you have existing veneers, fillings, crowns, bridges or bonding, store-bought tooth whitening products will not whiten the artificial teeth, which means they’ll be obvious against your whitened natural teeth. Whitening your entire smile when you have these types of dental treatments requires a visit to the dentist to investigate options for new dental work including bonding and veneers.

Preventing stains and discoloration

Avoiding and preventing stains and discoloration in the first place, is the best way to keep teeth white and healthy. Over time, the outer layer of tooth enamel wears away revealing the yellower dentin underneath. Whitening teeth too often can make them appear blue or translucent, so it’s important to know what substances can cause stains including tea, coffee, dark soda, fruit juices, red wine, blackberries, blueberries, and beets. Brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking staining foods and if that’s not possible, rinse with water. Sports drinks are another oral health offender as they can erode tooth enamel with frequent, long-term use. If you consume sports drinks, don’t sip them for extended periods of time, and rinse with water when you’ve finished the drink.

Avoid tobacco use

Smoking and other tobacco products are horrible for your teeth and cause brown stains that may be impossible to remove with just brushing. The longer you use tobacco, the deeper the stains and smoking and tobacco use cause gingivitis, bad breath and increase the risk of many types of cancer. Do your oral and overall health a huge favor by looking into ways to quit smoking and other tobacco use.

Medication stains

Although medications are often necessary for maintaining a person’s health, they can lead to teeth stains and discoloration. Certain antibiotics, blood pressure medications, iron, antihistamines and excessive fluoride can cause tooth stains. Some antibacterial mouthwashes with particular ingredients can cause tooth stains, so consult with your dentist if he or she prescribes these. When bleaching isn’t enough to remove stains, dental bonding can help brighten teeth.

Daily oral care and dental visits

Maintaining good oral hygiene every day is a simple, easy way to prevent stains and discoloration while maintaining a healthy mouth. To further protect your shiny teeth, you can brush after every snack and meal as this prevents yellow teeth and stains, especially along the gum line. Traditional toothbrushes work, but sonic or electric toothbrush can provide superior cleaning and removal of surface stains and plaque from teeth. Visiting your dentist for regular checkups is also important, and the abrasion and polishing methods they use during professional cleanings helps remove many common tooth stains caused by food and drink.

For safe, fast and effective teeth cleaning, visit Dupont Dental for our in-office teeth whitening treatments.

Read More
Beautiful Smile

Root Canals Help Save Your Natural Teeth

An important part of maintaining your beautiful smile is protecting your natural teeth with good oral hygiene and treating any oral health issues early. Endodontic treatments, often called root canals, help treat and save millions of patient’s teeth every year, which in turns saves your smile and improves your oral health.

Understanding what root canals treat

Within your teeth and beneath the enamel and dentin, there’s tooth pulp, which is a soft tissue. Within the pulp resides nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues that all help the tooth root grow during its development. Fully developed teeth can survive without the pulp because the teeth continue to receive nourishment from the surrounding tissues. Root canal treatments treat the area inside of the tooth and become necessary when the pulp suffers infection or inflammation from decay, faulty crowns, cracks, chips, trauma to the tooth or repeated dental procedures. Without treatment, the infection or inflammation can lead to pain and an abscess.

Saving your teeth with a root canal

When your dental professional who specializes in endodontic treatments performs a root canal, he or she removes the infected pulp and cleans and disinfects the inside of the affected tooth. The dentist then fills and seals the area with a rubber-like material and restores the tooth with a filling or crown for protection. Following a root canal treatment, the tooth functions like other natural teeth in your mouth. The procedure for a root canal usually only requires 1-2 visits and is similar to a routine filling procedure. When your dentist saves your natural tooth with the help of a root canal, you enjoy benefits including:

  • Natural tooth appearance
  • Normal, efficient chewing
  • Natural sensation and biting force
  • Protection of other teeth from strain or wear

While there are many options for tooth replacement, it’s best to retain your natural teeth whenever possible and when it doesn’t interfere with your overall oral health. Root canals/endodontic treatments can help save your natural teeth, so you retain your smile, eat the foods you enjoy, and reduce the need for continued dental work on the affected area. By continuing good oral hygiene and care, teeth treated with root canals can last a lifetime.

If your dentist believes you need a root canal, try not to worry as you remember that your dentist is working toward saving your natural teeth. Make sure you protect your beautiful smile with regular visits to Dupont Dental and by contacting our offices if you experience any dental discomfort.


Read More
Tooth Extraction dc

When Tooth Extraction is Necessary

Permanent, adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but sometimes tooth extraction becomes necessary to maintain oral health. Thankfully, with today’s various tooth replacement options, losing a tooth doesn’t mean dealing with an uncomfortable space in your mouth. Dentists do their best to save teeth and protect your smile, but in some cases, tooth extraction is the safest and healthiest solution to a dental issue.

Reasons for tooth extractions

One of the most common reasons for tooth extraction is having a tooth that’s suffered too much damage from decay or trauma to be repairable. Additional reasons for having a tooth removed include:

  • Tooth pulp infection – When damage and decay reach the tooth’s center where the nerves and blood vessels lay, called the pulp, bacteria can invade the pulp and cause an infection. Root canal therapy may be able to treat the infection, but if it’s too severe, extraction can be required to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Infection risk – Sometimes other health issues require that a potentially infected tooth undergo extraction to prevent further problems in a patient with a compromised immune system, such as someone undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Crowding – Sometimes orthodontia treatments require tooth extractions to eliminate overcrowding in the mouth. The purpose of orthodontia is to align a patient’s teeth properly, but when the teeth are too big for the mouth, extraction may be necessary.
  • Impacted tooth – When a tooth is impacted in the gum and hasn’t erupted because of lack of room in the mouth, the dentist may extract it to avoid damaging other teeth, infections, and crowding.
  • Gum disease – If a tooth or teeth have grown loose due to gum disease and the subsequent infection of the bones and tissue supporting the teeth, the dentist may extract the teeth to help restore oral health.

Tooth extraction procedure

The procedure for tooth extraction depends on the reason for removing the tooth or teeth. Before the extraction, the dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb the region, and if more than one tooth requires removal, the dentist may use a general anesthetic that prevents pain and sedates the patient. The dentist’s primary goal during an extraction is to make sure you remain comfortable and that the infected, impacted and damaged tooth receives safe complete removal.

Following tooth extraction

Recovery from tooth extraction usually takes a few days, and the dentist will send you home with instructions that helps reduce infection risk and discomfort while speeding recovery. If the dentist prescribes painkillers or antibiotics, make sure you take them as directed. Rest as necessary and avoid smoking, which can inhibit the healing process. The total healing time following tooth extraction can take about 1-2 weeks, during which time new gum tissue and bone will grow into the space left by the missing tooth. Without a replacement tooth option, surrounding teeth can shift into space, which is why dentists recommend a replacement such as a fixed bridge, denture or dental implant.

With today’s tooth replacement innovations, there’s no need to worry about your smile if a tooth extraction becomes necessary. If you’re suffering from a condition that requires extraction, contact Dupont Dental to discuss your treatment options and possible tooth replacement.

Read More