Posts for: January, 2015

By James B. Howell, D.M.D.
January 28, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
QuestionsYouShouldAskBeforeWhiteningYourTeeth

Having a whiter, brighter smile can do wonders for improving self-confidence, career opportunities, and interpersonal relationships, as demonstrated in numerous scientific studies. In fact, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), the following was revealed:

  • 99.7% of Americans believe a smile is an important social asset.
  • 74% feel an unattractive smile can hurt chances for career success.
  • 50% of all people polled were unsatisfied with their smile.

These statistics demonstrate why you should have a solid understanding about any cosmetic procedure — even teeth whitening — before making your decision to proceed. To help you ensure that you have the facts, we created the following list of questions.

  • Am I a good candidate for tooth whitening?
  • How much will the entire process cost?
  • Does my insurance cover the cost (or any portion of the cost)?
  • How does teeth whitening work?
  • Is bleaching teeth safe?
  • Will the bleaching agents damage tooth enamel?
  • Can whitening treatments make my teeth sensitive?
  • How does your professional bleaching differ from home whitening?
  • What type of bleach and strength will you use?
  • How long can I expect the results to last?
  • What will the bleach do to my gums, filings, crowns, veneers, and/or bridgework?

Please note that we may cover most or all of these questions during your initial consultation; however, we encourage you to bring this list with you to ensure you get the answers you need so that you can make the best decision. To learn more now, continue reading the Dear Doctor article, “Teeth Whitening: Brighter, Lighter, Whiter....” Or, you can contact us to discuss your questions or to schedule an appointment.


By contactus@jbhdental.com
January 15, 2015
Category: Cosmetic Dentistry
Tags: Bonding   Composite Bonding  

cosmetic dentistry louisville kyHave you been hiding behind a smile that has a few flaws, shying away from a big, toothy grin in order to disguise broken, chipped or discolored teeth?

Maybe you fear the expense of trying to fix the problem, or perhaps going to the dentist brings painful, unpleasant memories.

There is a solution that can provide transforming results and can be done with very little discomfort.

Composite bonding is a simple and minimally invasive procedure in which tooth-colored resin, called composite, is applied to a tooth in order to shape or color it.

Dr. Howell uses this procedure for patients with chipped, broken, discolored, stained, crooked, rotated, uneven or gapped teeth. This process can also be performed on bridge facings that have become worn or broken. Composite bonding easily repairs chips, fractures, decay and discolored teeth. The end result is a very quick and painless natural appearance. When high-quality materials are used, composite bonding can last ten to fifteen years.

If you are ready to say "cheese" with pride, ask Dr. Howell about the benefits of composite bonding.


By James B. Howell, D.M.D.
January 13, 2015
Category: Oral Health
NoGleeinToothGrinding

Sure, it’s big news when celebs tweet selfies from the dental office… if you’re still living in the 20th century. But in Hollywood today, it’s harder to say who hasn’t posted snaps of themselves in the dentist’s chair than who has. Yet the pictures recently uploaded to Twitter by Mark Salling, the actor and singer who regularly appears as Noah “Puck” Puckerman on the popular TV series Glee, made us sit up and take notice.

“Getting my chipped tooth fixed. Also, apparently, I’m a big grinder,” read the caption. The photo showed a set of upper front teeth with visible chips on the biting surface. What’s so special about this seemingly mundane tweet? It’s a great way of bringing attention to a relatively common, but often overlooked problem: teeth clenching and grinding, also called bruxism.

Although bruxism is a habit that affects scores of people, many don’t even realize they have it. That’s because the condition may only become active at night. When the teeth are unconsciously ground together, the forces they produce can wear down the enamel, cause chipping or damage to teeth or dental work (such as veneers or fillings), or even loosen a tooth! While it’s common in children under 11 years old, in adults it can be a cause for concern.

Sometimes, mouth pain, soreness and visible damage alert individuals to their grinding habits; other times, a dental professional will notice the evidence of bruxism during an exam or cleaning: tooth sensitivity and telltale wear and tear on the chewing surfaces. Either way, it’s time to act.

Bruxism is most often caused by stress, which can negatively impact the body in many ways. It may also result from bite problems, the overuse of stimulating substances (caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs), and as a side effect of certain medications. Sometimes, simply becoming aware of the habit can help a person get it under control. Common methods of stress reduction include exercise, meditation, a warm bath or a quiet period before bedtime; these can be tried while we monitor the situation to see if the problem is going away.

If stress reduction alone doesn’t do the trick, several other methods can be effective. When bruxism is caused by a minor bite problem, we can sometimes do a minor “bite adjustment” in the office. This involves removing a tiny bit of enamel from an individual tooth that is out of position, bringing it in line with the others. If it’s a more serious malocclusion, orthodontic appliances or other procedures may be recommended.

When grinding is severe enough to damage teeth or dental work, we may also recommend a custom-made night guard (occlusal guard), which you put in your mouth at bedtime. Comfortable and secure, this appliance prevents your teeth from being damaged by contacting each other, and protects your jaw joints from stresses due to excessive grinding forces.

Whether or not you have to smile for a living, teeth grinding can be a big problem. If you would like more information about this condition, call our office to schedule a consultation for a consultation.




Louisville, KY Cosmetic Dentistry
James B. Howell, D.M.D.
3936 Dutchmans Lane
Louisville, KY 40207
(502) 899-7766

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