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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By KATHLEEN M. GEIPE, DDS, PA
December 11, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Crowns and Bridges  

How dental crowns and bridges from your dentist in Salisbury, MD, can give you a great smile

If you are coping with a broken smile, you can rebuild it! Damaged, cracked, or fractured teeth can be made whole again, thanks to dental crowns. If you are dealing with an incomplete smile, you can make your smile complete with dental bridges. Dr. Kathleen M. Geipe in Salisbury, MD, provides dental crowns and bridges that can give you the strong, beautiful smile you’ve been waiting for.

Broken teeth can make you fearful to chew and enjoy the foods you love. You may be afraid your teeth will break more. Large metal fillings may not solve the problem of breakage. That’s because a large filling can divide your tooth into sections, weakening its internal structure. When you bite down, your tooth may fracture, taking away both the filling and more tooth structure.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns work differently, because they encase your entire visible tooth above the gumline, protecting it from breaking. When you bite down on a dental crown, the biting stress is spread out evenly over the surface of your tooth. The even pressure helps prevent damage to your tooth.

Broken teeth can also make you embarrassed about smiling. A broken smile can make you self-conscious, and can affect your self-esteem. Dental crowns can help create a more beautiful smile. That’s because today’s crown materials resemble natural tooth structure.

Consider a full porcelain crown, or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, if you want the most lifelike, natural-looking crown available; porcelain reflects light, just like natural tooth enamel so your porcelain crown will be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.

Dental Bridges

If you have an incomplete smile because of missing teeth, dental bridges can give you back your smile and your full chewing ability. Gaps in your smile can be embarrassing, and can also interfere with your digestion and your overall health. Dental bridges replace missing teeth with realistic-looking prosthetic teeth. Bridges are permanently cemented and aren’t removed, unlike dental appliances.

To find out more about how dental crowns and bridges can give you a great smile, just pick up your phone and call Dr. Kathleen M. Geipe in Salisbury, MD. Call today and get started on your great, new smile!

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
December 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
OrthodontistsAnticipateFutureFacialGrowthWhenTreatingPoorBites

Moving teeth to better positions through orthodontics not only improves dental function and health, it can vastly improve your appearance. But to achieve a result that continues to be attractive as you age requires thorough planning and forethought.

That’s because your body continues to change all during life. While the most accelerated growth happens in childhood and adolescence, even older adults continue to change, especially in their facial features. A good deal of research has helped identify and catalog these changes, which orthodontists now incorporate into their corrective treatments for poor bites (malocclusions).

For example, the lips grow until they reach their maximum thickness in girls usually around age 14 and boys age 16. But researchers have also found lip thickness gradually diminishes for most people beginning in their late teens until about age 80. In other words, the appearance of your lips in your elderly years will be vastly different than in your teens. The same holds true for other facial features: our facial profile flattens as the nose becomes longer and more pronounced while the lower part of the face shortens.

Using this knowledge of the effects of aging on the face, orthodontists now attempt to anticipate “where” the facial features will be decades down the road. This projection can help them design a treatment plan that takes advantage of these projected changes.

For example, orthodontists may begin treatment before a patient’s teenage years with techniques that serve to guide jaw growth. Keeping that development on track will help if or when braces may be needed a few years later. Guiding jaw growth will help shorten the distance of where a patient is in their orofacial development and where they should be later in life with normal development.

Orthodontists aren’t predictors of the future. But armed with an understanding of the aging process, they can help patients head in the right direction to produce a smile and facial appearance that will endure well into later life.

If you would like more information on moving teeth to achieve a more attractive appearance, 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 “Understanding Aging Makes Beauty Timeless.”

By Kathleen M. Geipe, DDS, PA
October 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
3FactorsThatCouldAffecttheSuccessofaRootCanalTreatment

A tooth with deep decay is in real peril. If the disease isn’t stopped, it can eventually infect the bone and greatly increase the risk of losing the tooth. But tooth decay removal and a root canal treatment can stop advancing decay and resulting infection in its tracks.

During this common procedure we first drill into the tooth to access the inner pulp. After removing the infected pulp tissue, we disinfect and fill the empty chamber and root canals with gutta percha. We then seal the tooth and crown it to protect against re-infection.

But while most root canals are successful and long-lasting, sometimes the tooth becomes re-infected. Here are 3 factors that could affect the long-term success of a root canal treatment.

Early treatment. Like many health problems, the sooner we detect decay and treat it, the better the outcome. A tooth in which the infection has already advanced beyond the pulp is at greater risk for re-infection than one in which the infection is localized in the pulp. Keeping up your regular dental visits as well as seeing the dentist at the first sign of abnormality—spots on the teeth or pain—can increase your chances of early diagnosis.

Tooth complications. Front teeth with their single roots and canals are much easier to access and treat than a back molar with an intricate root canal network. Root canals can also be extremely narrow making them easy to miss during treatment. In cases like this the expertise and advanced equipment of an endodontist (a specialist in root canal treatment) could help increase the odds of success in complex situations.

The aging process. Teeth do wear over time and become more brittle, making them increasingly susceptible to fracture. A previous root canal treatment on an aging tooth might also increase the fracture risk. To avoid this, it’s important for the tooth to receive a crown after the procedure to protect the tooth not only from re-infection but undue stress during chewing. In some situations, we may also need to place a post with a bonded composite buildup within the tooth to give it extra support.

Even if a tooth has these or similar complications, a root canal treatment may still be advisable. The benefits for preserving a decayed tooth often far outweigh the risks of re-infection.

If you would like more information on root canal treatments, 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 “Root Canal Treatment.”

By KATHLEEN M. GEIPE, DDS, PA
October 01, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental ImplantsWhat Are Dental Implants?

Thinking about dental implants? For many years, the only tooth replacement options available were dentures and bridges. But, today, dental implants are available. Dr. Kathleen Geipe's dental office is located in Salisbury, MD. She offers state-of-the-art dental implants to her patients. Here's everything you've ever wanted to know about dental implants.

What are dental implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots made of titanium that are secured in the jawbone. After the bone has bonded to the dental implants, replacement teeth are secured to the top of the implants. Unlike a traditional denture, which can be removed, dental implants are permanent. 

What are the benefits of implants?

Many people are discovering the benefits of dental implants. dental implants will close the gaps in your smile, improve your appearance, and make you look younger. They will improve your clarity of speech and restore your ability to chew food. They will also fill out a face that otherwise would look sunken because of missing teeth. 

Will I need bone grafting?

You may need a bone graft if your bone is too thin or soft and unable to support an implant. The bone graft materials can come from a variety of sources—sometimes it comes from the patient's body. Synthetic bone graft materials and laboratory-processed bone from an animal or human donor can also be used.

Are implants right for me?

You may be a candidate for dental implants if you are in good general and oral health. Ideal candidates for dental implants have healthy gum tissue that is free of gum disease. Adequate bone in your jaw is also needed to support the dental implants. Your dentist will determine if dental implants are suitable for you. 

How do I care for dental implants?

Dental implants are like your permanent teeth and will require regular dental visits and conscientious at-home oral care. In order to keep your implants plaque-free, brushing and flossing still apply. Good oral hygiene must take place during and after placement of dental implants to keep them healthy. 

What will happen without treatment?

Missing teeth can cause trouble chewing and speech problems. Tooth loss can also have many negative effects on your oral health including shifting of teeth and changes in the jaw joint. Without treatment, your jawbone will begin to deteriorate. Additionally, tooth loss can change the shape of your face, causing you to look old before your time. 

Are you ready for a brand new smile? Start your journey today! Call Dr. Kathleen Geipe's dental office at 410-543-0599 today to schedule a dental consultation in Salisbury, MD. You will have a new quality of life with dental implants!

By KATHLEEN M. GEIPE, DDS, PA
August 13, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures

Tooth Colored FillingsA damaged or decayed tooth is often repaired with a dental filling. In the past, fillings were made from darkly-colored materials and were obvious against a white tooth. However, tooth-colored fillings can repair your tooth and blend into your existing smile to provide an aesthetically pleasing yet functional look. Find out more about tooth colored fillings with Dr. Kathleen Geipe at her practice in Salisbury, MD.

When is a tooth-colored filling necessary? 
A tooth-colored filling becomes necessary if your tooth requires a dental filling or root canal. In this case, part of the tooth’s original structure has become decayed and your dentist must remove it to repair the damage. This, however, leaves the tooth compromised and requires a tooth-colored filling to fill in the gap and restore the tooth’s natural structure. Tooth-colored filling material also helps dentists during a dental bonding procedure, which molds the filling directly onto the tooth to change its shape, width, length, or color.

Could a tooth-colored filling help me? 
If you have a cavity, your dentist will use a tooth-colored filling to repair it. In the past, amalgam fillings, which were grey in color, gold, or silver fillings would have filled your tooth, leaving behind an obvious, darkly colored area of your tooth. Tooth-colored fillings allow you to repair your smile without this hiccup and blend into your teeth seamlessly.

Tooth-Colored Fillings in Salisbury, MD
If you think you could benefit from a tooth-colored filling, you should consult with your dentist. Their expertise, coupled with a physical examination and, if necessary, imaging techniques like x-rays, can help you ensure you get the dental help you require. Keeping your filling healthy after your procedure is also important to a successful result. You can achieve this by seeing your dentist twice a year for routine dental examinations and cleanings and following the American Dental Association-recommended at-home oral care routine of brushing twice daily and flossing at least once.

For more information on tooth colored fillings, please contact Dr. Geipe at her practice in Salisbury, MD. Call (410) 543-0599 to schedule your appointment today!