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Posts for: December, 2014

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
December 30, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
PorcelainCrownsVsVeneersWhatsTheDifference

When it comes to restoring both the beauty and functionality of a smile, two of the most commonly used techniques are porcelain crowns and veneers. Why? They consistently deliver beautiful, natural-looking results that are permanent and require very little maintenance. And while they have many things in common, they also have just as many differences.

The Similarities

Here are some facts that apply to both porcelain veneers and crowns:

  • Both enable changes to a tooth's color and shape.
  • Dental laboratory technicians use precise molds made by our office to hand-craft porcelain veneers and crowns.
  • Both are made using high-quality dental porcelain.
  • Neither respond to tooth whitening products — the color of the veneer or crown remains the same color as the day it was placed.
  • Neither procedure is reversible once completed.

The Differences

Here are some of their differences:

  • Crowns are used to replace a larger amount of tooth structure while veneers are thin shells that are placed over the front surface of teeth.
  • Veneers require much less tooth preparation (reduction by drilling) than crowns.
  • Crowns allow for greater change of tooth shape, while veneers allow for more minor changes.
  • Crowns are generally used to restore teeth that have lost tooth structure from decay or trauma.
  • Veneers are generally used where teeth are structurally healthy and intact, but color and shape change are required.
  • Veneers are used mostly for teeth that are visible when smiling, while crowns can be used to restore virtually any tooth.

Want To Learn More?

To learn more, read the Dear Doctor article, “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule a consultation.


By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
December 19, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
ReplacingMissingBackTeethIsImportant-JustAskChristieBrinkley

Supermodel Christie Brinkley has a one-in-a-million smile, but she is just one of millions who have benefited from today's preferred tooth-replacement technique: the dental implant. In a wide-ranging interview, Brinkley told Dear Doctor magazine about a helicopter accident she suffered while back-country skiing.

“I fractured two molars in the back of my mouth and I had to get two dental implants,” Brinkley told the magazine. “I am grateful for the dental implant technology that feels and looks so natural.”

You might think it serves little purpose to replace a missing back tooth that was barely visible in your smile to begin with — especially if you don't spend a lot of time posing for magazine covers. But this is actually not the case. Your molars are extremely important for chewing and even for maintaining a more youthful appearance.

Dentists generally agree that losing posterior (back) teeth can have many consequences for the remaining teeth and their surrounding structures, i.e., bone and gums. If back teeth are missing, the front teeth end up bearing more stress than they were built for. And there are certain things that happen when any tooth is lost, whether front or back, that can affect function and appearance.

For one thing, when a tooth is lost the adjacent teeth tend to drift into the empty space or tip towards it. This can adversely affect your bite. Too much shifting can render a tooth basically useless and also leave it more vulnerable to gum disease.

Another complication is the loss of tooth-supporting bone that inevitably occurs when teeth are lost. When a tooth comes out, the bone under it actually begins to melt away. Since back teeth support the vertical dimension of the face, their loss can cause what's known as “bite collapse” — a reduction in facial height that becomes increasingly noticeable over time and can make you look older.

A dental implant can prevent all of these things, while providing you with a replacement that looks and feels just like the tooth you lost.

If you are interested in learning more about implants, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Christie Brinkley, please see “The Secret Behind Christie Brinkley's Supermodel Smile.” Dear Doctor magazine also has more on “Replacing Back Teeth.”


By North Alabama Center for Cosmetic & General Dentistry, PC
December 19, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: Untagged
As a cosmetic dentistry provider in Huntsville, Dr. Beasley often hears many myths and claims surrounding cosmetic dentistry services. Because he knows the value of cosmetic dentistry procedures in enhancing his patient’s smiles and self-confidence, Dr. Beasley lists the top three myths he hears at his Huntsville, AL practice.
 
Myth 1: Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Are Only for Celebrities
 
As an experienced cosmetic dentist, Dr. Beasley gives his patients Hollywood-worthy results, even if their smiles aren’t seen on the silver screen. A common misconception about cosmetic dentistry is that the procedures are only for people who are vain or only concerned with appearance. However, many studies have revealed that cosmetic dentistry procedures, such as crowns, teeth whitening or veneers, offer even greater benefits than an improved smile. A brighter, healthier-appearing smile has been shown to enhance a person’s chance of getting a job or even a date. Finally smiling with self-confidence boosts self-esteem, which offers results that cannot be measured.
 
Myth 2: Teeth Whitening Products Purchased at a Store Are As Good as Professional Whitening
 
Dr. Beasley frequently sees patients at his Huntsville, AL dentist office who had similar thoughts. They applied strips or gels, only to fail to see results. Over-the-counter whitening products cannot legally have the strong whitening compounds that professional dentist’s products can. Dr. Beasley offers both in-office whitening with ZOOM! whitening and custom-made whitening trays you can take home and use over the course of two weeks. These whitening products can whiten teeth by anywhere from six to eight shades. Over-the-counter products can whiten one to two shades at most.
 
Myth 3: Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures Are Unaffordable
 
Cosmetic dentistry procedures at Dr. Beasley’s Huntsville, AL office are not intended to “break the bank.” Instead, they are a method to help you achieve an improved appearance. Our office works to make this as affordable as possible. At a cosmetic dentistry consultation, Dr. Beasley will give you an estimate of the cosmetic dentistry procedure cost. From there, you may choose to utilize a payment plan to pay off the procedure monthly or choose to save until the time is right.
 
For more information on cosmetic dentistry procedures at Dr. Beasley’s Huntsville, AL dentist’s office, please call (888) 860-5114.

By Beasley Cosmetic & General Dentistry
December 04, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: orthodontics   headgear  
OrthodonticHeadgearWhatItIsandWhyItMaybeNeeded

Most of us are quite familiar with what traditional braces look like. But occasionally we see more complex-looking devices being worn by young orthodontic patients: thicker wires that extend outside the mouth, with straps that may go behind the neck or over the chin. What are these devices, and why are they sometimes needed?

In general, orthodontic appliances with external parts braced by the head, neck or chin are referred to as “headgear.” These devices may be used to handle a number of particular orthodontic situations, but they all have one thing in common: They provide the additional anchorage needed to move teeth into better positions.

It may come as a surprise that teeth, which seem so solid, can actually be moved fairly easily over time. This is because teeth are not fixed directly into bone, but are instead held in place by a hammock-like structure called the periodontal ligament. Using a light, controlled force — such as the force of springy wires and elastics in traditional braces — teeth can be moved slowly through the jaw bone, like a stick being pulled through sand.

Of course, to pull a stick through sand, you need a firm anchorage — your legs, for example, bracing against a rock. Most of the time, the back teeth, with their large, multiple roots, provide plenty of support. But sometimes, the back teeth alone aren’t enough to do the job.

If a very large space between teeth is being closed, for example, the back teeth might be pulled forward as the front teeth are pulled back; this could result in poor alignment and bite problems. In other cases, the front teeth may need to be pulled forward instead of back. The back teeth can’t help here; this is a job for headgear.

Some types of headgear have a strap that goes behind the head or neck; they use the entire head as an anchorage. Other types, called “reverse pull” headgear, have a strap that comes over the chin or the forehead; they can pull teeth forward. Headgear can even influence the proper growth of facial structures — that’s why it is usually seen on preteens, whose growth isn’t yet complete.

Headgear is usually worn for 12 hours per day, for a limited period of time. In some cases, rather than headgear, appliances called “temporary anchorage devices” (TADS) may be recommended. These are tiny screws that are implanted into the jawbone in a minimally invasive procedure, and serve a similar function.

While it may not look pretty, orthodontic headgear is capable of moving teeth into their proper positions in a relatively short period of time — and ending up with a great-looking smile is what orthodontics is all about.

If you have questions about orthodontic headgear, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Moving Teeth With Orthodontics.”