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Posts for: March, 2022

AGTsSimonCowellUpdatesHisSmileWithVeneersandSoCanYou

It's been a rough year for all of us, but especially for Simon Cowell. The famous entrepreneur and brutally honest talent judge on American Idol and America's Got Talent underwent emergency back surgery in August after an accident on a new electric bike. But the good news is he's well on his way to recovery—and well enough in October to undergo another, less-stressful, procedure: a smile makeover with dental veneers.

This latest trip to the dentist wasn't Cowell's first experience with the popular restoration, wanting this time to update his smile to more closely resemble what he had when he was younger. He even brought along some older photos for reference.

Veneers aren't exclusive to celebrities like Simon Cowell, as thousands of people who get them every year can attest. These thin wafers of porcelain bonded to teeth can mask a wide range of defects, from chips, wear or discoloration to slight tooth gaps or misalignments. And every veneer is custom-made to match an individual patient's dental dimensions and coloring.

If you're thinking about a smile upgrade, here are a few reasons to consider dental veneers.

More bang for your buck. Compared to other transformative cosmetic options, veneers are relatively affordable, with the cost dependent largely on the extent of your dental needs. Still, dental veneers are an investment that can give long-lasting yields of a more attractive smile and even a completely new look.

Little to no tooth alteration. In most veneer cases, we need only remove a small amount of enamel so the veneers don't appear bulky (the alteration is permanent, though, so you'll need a veneer on the tooth from then on). It's also possible to get “no-prep” veneers requiring little to no alteration.

Durable and long-lasting. Continuing improvements in porcelain and other dental ceramics have led to stronger forms that can better withstand the biting forces your teeth encounter every day. Although you'll still need to be careful biting into hard items, your veneers can last for several years.

Easy to maintain. Veneer cleaning and maintenance is much the same as with natural teeth—daily brushing and flossing, and regular dental cleanings and checkups. Outside of that, you'll need to watch what you chomp down on: Veneers are strong, but not indestructible, and they can break.

As Simon Cowell knows, getting veneers isn't difficult. It starts with an initial visit so we can evaluate your dental health and needs. From there, we can present options on how to update your smile.

If you would like more information about dental veneers, please contact us or schedule a consultation. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “No-Prep Porcelain Veneers.”


WhileTreatingDentalDiseaseProtectingGoodBacteriaisaHighPriority

You can't rid your body of the trillions of bacteria that inhabit it—nor would you want to. Many of the thousands of species taking up residence in and around you are beneficial to you.

That includes the bacteria in your mouth living together in an invisible community known as a "microbiome." Our immune systems gradually learn to discern between those that mean us well and those that don't, and for the most part leave the former alone.

But although harmful bacteria are in the minority, they can still cause devastating infections like tooth decay and gum disease. Fortunately, we've identified their "base of operations"— a thin film of leftover food particles, that when joined with bacteria is referred to as dental plaque. Plaque buildup serves as the primary food source for harmful bacteria.

We can prevent disease by depriving bacteria of this food source—by brushing and flossing daily to remove plaque buildup. Oral hygiene, along with regular dental care, is the best way to reduce harmful oral bacteria and our risk for disease.

Without these measures disease can develop and advance quickly, damaging the teeth, gums and supporting bone. And in cases of advanced gum disease, dentists often turn to antibiotics to reduce bring rampant bacteria under control.

But we've learned the hard way that overused antibiotic therapy can cause more harm than good. For one, it can create resistance within the bacteria we're targeting that often render the antibiotics we're using impotent.

Furthermore, antibiotics can't always discern "good" bacteria from "bad." Beneficial strains may be destroyed in the process, leaving the rich bacterial "microbiome" in our mouths a wasteland. And as we're learning, our health could be worse for the loss.

To avoid this, we're beginning to use treatment applications that narrowly target malevolent bacteria while avoiding more benevolent strains. One helpful advance in this matter was the development of the Human Oral Microbiome Database HOMD, part of which has enabled us to precisely identify the individual bacteria that cause certain diseases. This has made it easier to target them with specific antibiotic drugs.

We still have much to learn about the microscopic world within our mouths. As we do, we can better cooperate with those "inhabitants" that help us maintain our health while fighting those that cause us harm.

If you would like more information on oral bacteria, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “New Research Shows Bacteria Essential to Health.”


By EDWIN YEE
March 17, 2022
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

If you are missing a tooth you may be curious about what options you have when it comes to restoring your smile. Dental implants are in many ways the best solution to tooth loss. They are meant to be a final and complete restoration of a missing tooth. This treatment will last much longer and will be stronger than other options. Learn more about dental implants in Pensacola, FL, from Dr. Edwin Yee.

Better Support

The key difference between dental implants and other methods of restoration, such as bridges and dentures, has to do with the way in which they are supported. Dental bridges depend on adjacent teeth to serve as support for the tooth they are replacing. To accomplish this, these healthy teeth need to be reshaped so that a crown can be attached to them, then they will hold your new tooth in place.

Dentures depend on suction as their main method of support. These require a proper fit to perform at their best. So many of the common complaints people have regarding dentures are due to this factor. A dental implant is supported in a very similar way to your natural teeth. They use a titanium post that is permanently implanted onto the bone of your jaw, and it's onto this that your new tooth will be attached.

Dental Implants in Pensacola, FL

One downside to dental implants is that they do require a longer initial investment of time, as the implanted post can take months to heal and fuse with the jaw bone. Implants can last a lifetime with proper care, and they don't need any special treatment when it comes to hygiene or diet, although good dental habits remain key to maintaining your smile.

If you're ready to restore a single missing tooth or a complete smile, find out if you're a candidate for dental implants. Call (850) 479-3355 to schedule a consultation in Pensacola, FL, from Dr. Yee.


By EDWIN YEE
March 14, 2022
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: crowns  

This simple restoration might be all you need to restore your oral health.

Has Dr. Edwin Yee in Pensacola, FL, recently told you that you need a dental crown? If so, you may be trying to do a little research to better understand this dental restoration and why it’s recommended. We believe it’s important to educate our patients about dental care and the services we offer. Find out everything you ever needed to know about dental crowns!

What Are They?

First of all, it’s important to understand what a dental crown is before you understand what it does. A crown is a dental cap that is custom-made to look just like the crown of a tooth. It is often made from porcelain or other durable tooth-colored materials like composite resin or ceramic. The shade of the material used is even matched to the rest of your teeth to ensure that it’s as close to your smile’s natural shade as possible.

A crown is a popular restoration because it can do so much for a smile and yet the restoration itself is so simple. Just by applying this crown over your tooth, we can alter the shape, size, color, and overall appearance of the tooth to enhance your smile and improve your oral health.

A crown is often recommended if:

  • Your tooth has extensive decay that a dental filling won’t be able to support
  • You have undergone root canal treatment
  • You want to get a dental bridge (crowns are used to support this fixed oral prosthetic)
  • You need to cover a dental implant (a restoration that replaces missing teeth)
  • Your tooth is weak
  • You have an aesthetically unpleasing tooth

Getting a dental crown is a very straightforward process. Since each crown is one of a kind, we will need to take exact measurements of your mouth to make sure it fits properly. These measurements are sent to a dental lab where they will get to work creating your crown.

In the meantime, we will need to prep the tooth for your new restoration. This will require our dentist to shave a significant amount of enamel off the crown of the tooth to make room for the crown. This tooth preparation is performed under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel a thing.

We will also place a temporary crown over the tooth until your permanent one is ready. Once the permanent crown is ready you will come back in for a final fitting to get your new tooth.

If you think your smile could benefit from a dental crown then let’s talk further. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Edwin Yee in Pensacola, FL. Call 850-479-3355.


RPDAnEffectiveandAffordableChoiceforToothReplacement

Dental implants are considered by both dentists and patients as the top choice for teeth replacement, with a fixed bridge a close second. Implants and bridges, however, can be financially challenging for many people. Fortunately, there's another effective and affordable choice: a removable partial denture or RPD.

Like full dentures, RPDs are oral appliances that are generally supported by the bony ridge of the gums. They differ, though, in that they replace one or more teeth among the existing natural teeth rather than all the teeth on a jaw. In general, RPDs are designed to hook on to the adjacent dental teeth so that they stay in place during function inside the mouth.

We should also make a distinction between two types of RPDs. One is a lighter version known commonly as a "flipper" because a wearer can easily "flip" it out of the mouth with their tongue. These are only intended for short-term use until a dentist can install a more permanent restoration like an implant or bridge. As an example, a teenager with lost teeth may wear a flipper until their jaw has matured enough for implants.

The other RPD is heavier and designed to be a permanent tooth replacement. These RPDs have a rigid frame made of a strong metal alloy called vitallium, to which a dentist attaches artificial teeth made of porcelain, resins or plastics. The frame may also have colored resins or plastics attached to mimic gum tissue. To hold the RPD in place in the mouth, they may have tiny vitallium clasps that grip onto the natural teeth.

RPDs are precisely engineered to match not only the position and placement of the artificial teeth, but the balance of the frame within the mouth. The latter is important because an unbalanced frame could rock during biting and chewing, which could reduce the longevity of the denture and cause wearing of the bone beneath the gum ridge.

A well-designed and maintained RPD can last for many years. They can, however, harbor bacteria, so they and the rest of the teeth and gums must be cleaned daily to prevent dental disease. They also can't stop or slow bone loss at the missing teeth sites, one of the benefits of dental implants.

But even with these drawbacks, an affordable RPD can still be a sound choice for replacing missing teeth and restoring an attractive smile.

If you would like more information on removable partial dentures, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Removable Partial Dentures.”