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Archive for October 2015

Teeth Whitening Washington DC

Good Candidates for Teeth Whitening

A teeth whitening treatment is a popular option for enhancing and improving the beauty of a person’s smile, and a professional, in-office dental teeth whitening treatment is the safest and most effective option. While teeth whitening can address some teeth appearance issues, it’s not suitable treatment for everyone, so it’s important to know who makes the best candidates.

Professional teeth whitening procedure

During in-office teeth whitening, the dentist supervises to ensure its safety and prevent exposing the gums to the whitening agent. The dental professional applies a bleaching agent carefully to the patient’s teeth and then uses a laser light on the teeth to activate the full whitening strength. Dentists can brighten a smile up to eight shades in a single teeth whitening treatment.

Removing discoloration and surface stains

In-office teeth whitening treatments address stains on the surface of the teeth, on the enamel and dentin layers. The causes of these surface stains can include drinking dark beverages such as coffee, tea or red wine, eating foods such as blueberries, using tobacco products and natural aging.

Good candidates for teeth whitening

The best candidates for professional teeth whitening have good overall dental health but would like to remove tooth stains and general discoloration from the surface of their teeth. They need to have realistic expectations of what teeth whitening can accomplish and understand the possible temporary side effects such as sensitivity.

Poor candidates for teeth whitening

When a patient has tooth discoloration from tooth damage or decay, teeth whitening isn’t a good treatment. Such dental issues need to be treated before teeth whitening can be used effectively. Patients with tooth discoloration that comes from inside the tooth and not on the surface aren’t good candidates for teeth whitening as the bleaching agent only treats stains on dentin and enamel.

When teeth whitening isn’t an option

For patients with stains that are too severe for teeth whitening to treat, there are other options such as porcelain veneers. Veneers are shells that go over teeth to conceal dental flaws such as staining. When decay or injury cause dental stains, good treatment options include restorations such as a dental crown or inlay or onlay to restore the health and appearance of teeth.

The best way to know if you’re a good candidate for professional teeth whitening is to schedule a consultation with an experienced cosmetic dentist. Contact Dupont Dental to learn more about teeth whitening and make an informed decision about improving the health and appearance of your smile.


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Dental Crowns

Advantages of Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns have some uses in cosmetic dentistry. Dentists use them to encase a tooth or dental implant and bond them permanently with dental cement for a secure, strong fit. Dental crowns are a good option for treating broken or cracked teeth or those with large cavities that require root canals. Dentists also use dental crowns to correct minor cosmetic issues such as unevenly shaped teeth or discoloration. Past materials used to make crowns include silver, gold, platinum, and tin, but today porcelain is the top and most common choice due to its durability and resemblance to natural tooth appearance.

Porcelain crown advantages

Although metal crowns are still a viable option for treatments in dental offices, porcelain crowns have several advantages over metal alloy crowns. These advantages include:

  • Improved appearance – Porcelain crowns are tooth colored, smooth and blend in almost invisibly with natural teeth. Their more natural appearance is extremely helpful for patients who require dental work in the front of their mouth when any other type of crown would be easy to see.
  • Natural feeling – Along with being visually appealing, porcelain dental crowns also feel more natural than other options. The dentist can custom design porcelain crowns to fit the shape and appearance of a patient’s natural teeth. The durability and feel of porcelain crowns resemble that of natural teeth, which helps them blend perfectly with natural teeth in all aspects.
  • Durable and strong – Although many patients may not realize it, porcelain crowns are nearly as strong as natural tooth enamel, which is one of the hardest materials on the human body. Porcelain crowns withstand years of wear, and unlike porcelain veneers, crowns are sturdy enough to repair broken teeth or replace missing teeth as part of a dental implant or bridge.

Porcelain crowns have countless advantages over their metal alternatives in both feel, form, and function and are one of the best choices for repairing certain dental issues. Patients no longer need to feel embarrassed by their smile due to metal crowns, decay or missing teeth when a dental professional uses porcelain crowns as a dental treatment.

If you have minor cosmetic dental issues such as discoloration or misshapen teeth or more severe issues such as cracked or missing teeth, it’s time to consult a dentist about restoring your smile with porcelain crowns. The professionals at Dupont Dental are happy to work with you to find the best solution to your dental issues so you can share your smile confidentially again.

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learn about dental bridges

Understanding Dental Bridges

When a patient is missing one or more teeth, a dentist can fill the gap with a dental bridge. A dental bridge consists of two or more crowns placed on the teeth adjacent to the gap left by missing teeth. These teeth on either side, called abutment teeth, flank the false tooth or teeth placement between them called a pontic or pontics. Materials used to make pontics include porcelain, alloys, gold or a combination of those materials. The support for dental bridges comes from implants or natural teeth, depending on the patient’s oral situation.

Dental bridge benefits

Although dental implants are one of the most popular tooth replacement options today, they don’t work for everyone, and this is where dental bridges become a viable option. The benefits of dental bridges include:

  • Smile Restoration
  • Ability to chew and speak properly
  • Maintain face shape and structure
  • Help distribute bite force properly by filling in gaps from missing teeth
  • Keep remaining teeth in their proper position

Types of dental bridges

The type of dental bridge a patient receives depends on where they’re missing teeth in their mouth. Dentists use two main types of dental bridges including:

Traditional bridge – The dentist creates a crown for the tooth or implant on each side of missing tooth and places the fake tooth/pontic between them. This is the most common bridge used, and dentists use ceramics or porcelain fused to metal.

Cantilever bridge – When there are adjacent teeth only on a single side of a gap, the dentist can use a cantilever bridge. However, these bridges are less common today and don’t work well in the back of the mouth because of the force they place on other teeth.

Expectations with dental bridges

With proper care including good oral hygiene and regular dental visits, a dental bridge can last 5-15 years or longer. When the dentist replaces missing teeth with a dental bridge, it can make eating easier as patients don’t have to deal with gaps in their teeth and can properly chew their food. A dental bridge can improve speech in those who have endured missing teeth, especially when the bridge helps keep anterior teeth in their proper position.

Caring for a dental bridge

As previously mentioned, patients need to practice proper oral hygiene to keep the teeth and gums healthy and improve the success of the dental bridge. After receiving a dental bridge, the dentist or hygienist can show the patient how to brush and floss correctly around the device and how to detect any issues. When a patient is getting used to a new bridge, they may want to chew softer food and cut it up into manageable pieces until they’ve acclimated to the change. Maintaining regularly scheduled dental visits with professional cleanings and exams is the best way to care for a dental bridge and the entire mouth.

If you’re missing teeth, it’s important to consult a dentist and find a proper replacement as soon as possible to prevent teeth from shifting and avoid bone loss. Contact Dupont Dental today to find out more information about our restorative and cosmetic dentistry services.

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dental bonding benefits

Applications of Dental Bonding

For someone who wants a healthy and attractive smile, numerous cosmetic dental treatments can help. An especially effective and relatively easy dental treatment is dental bonding. Dental bonding uses special composite resins to improve the look of a person’s smile greatly, and the dentist can perform the treatment in one painless visit.

Understanding dental bonding

Also referred to as composite bonding or tooth bonding, dental bonding occurs when the dentist uses a special ceramic/composite resin on a patient’s tooth or teeth. The dentist paints the tooth-colored material on the teeth, and the patient can achieve a flawless looking smile.

Repairing minor tooth damage

Dentists commonly use dental bonding to repair minor tooth damage such as small cavities, cracks or chips. Dental bonding is a highly effective treatment for these minor cosmetic issues.

Treating tooth discoloration

When teeth whitening can’t provide suitable results on its own, the dentist can use dental bonding to treat tooth discoloration. The dental bonding material conceals stains on the teeth and can give a patient a clean, bright, beautiful smile.

Ideal candidates for dental bonding

Dental bonding works best for patients who have minor cosmetic dentistry issues that affect their smile. Patients with major dental issues such as missing or broken teeth require more involved cosmetic dentistry and restoration treatments to improve their smile. It’s important that patients have realistic expectations about the results of dental bonding.

Procedure for dental bonding

During dental bonding, the dentist cleans the tooth and then preps it for the composite/ceramic bonding material by scuffing the tooth surface slightly. The rougher surface helps the dental material adhere better. Before applying the bonding material, the dentist has ensured that it matches the color of the tooth receiving treatment. After the dentist paints the bonding material on the tooth, it’s allowed to dry and then receives a buff and polish, so it blends invisibly with the natural tooth.

Additional Options

Dental bonding isn’t an effective solution for all cosmetic dentistry issues, but it can work well for those with minor issues. When dental bonding isn’t enough to correct aesthetic issues, patients have a choice of porcelain veneers, dental crowns, fillings, inlays or onlays. For stains that are on the surface of teeth, in-office teeth whitening treatments can be highly effective and safe.

To learn more about dental bonding and other cosmetic dentistry procedures, contact our professional dental staff at Dupont Dental. Through our various cosmetic and restorative dental options, you can achieve a smile you’re proud to share.

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treatment for bad breath

Causes of and Treatments for Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath, or halitosis, can cause frustration, embarrassment, and concern for those suffering from it. Halitosis can be a symptom of a more severe dental problem, but the only way to know for sure if by consulting a dental professional who can perform a thorough oral exam. A dental professional can recommend treatment for bad breath and deal with any underlying causes, which can restore a patient’s confidence and ability to smile and speak without embarrassment.

Common causes of bad breath

Thankfully, in many cases of bad breath, all that’s needed to solve it is a thorough dental cleaning and restorative dental treatments that improve the overall health of gums and teeth. It’s important to discover the cause of the bad breath first before working on a solution, though. Common causes of bad breath include:

  • Odorous foods – One of the top causes of bad breath is having a diet of odorous foods such as garlic, onions and other potent flavors.
  • Food Residue – When a small particle of food become stuck between teeth, they can breed bacteria as they decay which leads to bad breath.
  • Decay – Without proper brushing and flossing, plaque and tartar can build up leading to cavities and decay, which give a distinct, unpleasant odor.
  • Dry mouth – Saliva carries away food particles and bacteria from your teeth and mouth regularly, and without it, bacteria build up in a dry mouth and causes halitosis.
  • Sinus or throat infection – Even though bad breath may come out the mouth, it doesn’t always originate there, and in some cases, bad breath indicates the development of an infection in the sinus or throat areas.

There are many other causes of bad breath including tooth abscesses or taking certain medications, and only a proper assessment from a health professional can pinpoint the exact issue.

Treating bad breath

Treating bad breath correctly depends on finding the cause. When poor oral hygiene is causing halitosis, fixing the issue involves improving a patient’s brushing and flossing routine and visiting the dentist for a professional cleaning and exam. If improper oral hygiene has caused tooth decay, then the dentist needs to remove the decay and treat with crowns or fillings to prevent further problems and remedy bad breath from decay. Prescription Mouthwash can alleviate chronic dry mouth and antibiotics can help clear up sinus or throat infections that lead to bad breath. Working with a dentist to find the best course of treatment for bad breath ensures that you find and deal with any underlying issues before they become more severe and costly.

No one needs to live with the discomfort and embarrassment of bad breath when there are a variety of ways to treat and eliminate it. Dupont Dental is dedicated to the great oral health of their patients and works to find the solution to any dental issues.

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