October 2015 - Prosthodontist in Johannesburg
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October 2015

By Dr Gerald Kaplan

Do you play chess? If so, that is wonderful and perhaps we can play each other sometime. Just give me a call.

If not, let me explain the rudiments of the game. The chessboard has 16 pieces for both opponents set up on either side of the board. This equals a total of 32 pieces. This is just what we have in the mouth – 32 permanent teeth. One’s teeth come into the mouth perfect and intact baring any childhood problems. They are designed to last a lifetime.

Back to chess…The game of chess has three parts. It has a beginning, a middle game, and endgame.
The beginning represents a perfect situation from which the game begins. We all start off adult life with a potentially perfect set of teeth, but what happens afterwards is completely under our control with the correct home care and correct professional care. Effective homecare should be taught at an early age .
The wrong move in the middle game leads to losing. Inadequate homecare and lack of regular professional care could eventually lead to losing one or more teeth.

Teeth are designed to last a lifetime. Ineffective brushing and not using dental floss, encourages plaque
accumulation which is the cause of tooth decay and gum disease.

A regular 6-monthly visit is major move in looking after your teeth.

So when is the time to see a prosthodontist? The earlier the better in young adult life. Prevention is better than cure. The choice of final restorative material and the skill of the operator are major factors in ensuring the ongoing health of one’s teeth. A prosthodontist has 3 years of additional training to serve you better.

Now what about the end game? In chess it is about winning.

In dentistry, it’s about enjoying a perfect set of teeth that will last a lifetime. The moves and choices that one makes early on affects the ultimate outcome.

Many adults present with major challenges which could have been avoided if dealt with timeously. Some of the problems that an adult presents with include failing poor quality restorative dentistry using the wrong materials and being done to a less than ideal level of clinical excellence; early loss of teeth; poor root canal therapy; gum disease and an undiagnosed orthodontic problem. These situations typically become challenging and difficult to correct and often involve a multidisciplinary team effort. The treatment can be costly and time-consuming.

Playing chess has many benefits. Seeing a prosthodontist has many benefits too.
• Increase your self-esteem
• gain more confidence
• ease in chewing
• teeth that will last a lifetime

It is easy to win the game! Give us a call: (011) 483 2281/1

Dental bleaching or teeth bleaching can restore the natural whiteness of your smile. It is a relatively simple procedure that most people can have performed. Dr Kaplan addresses some common patient concerns about teeth bleaching and explains the process in further detail.

Q. How Can I Get The Yellow Out Of My Teeth?
A. The first step is to get a professional cleaning and tooth polishing to remove superficial stains. This will help your dentist evaluate the type and amount of “real” discolouration present in your teeth. Then, an appropriate teeth bleaching technique is recommended. Subsequent follow-up may be recommended to maintain your new tooth colour.

Q. How Long Does Teeth Bleaching Last?
A. Each person is different. It depends on many factors including your diet, the original colour of your teeth, and each individual tooth’s ability to absorb the bleaching products.

Q. I Have Dark Stains, What Can Be Done?
A. A good cleaning in the dental office is a good start. Many times, the “home bleach technique” is most adequate and effective. If your teeth are very dark it may take up to three months at home.

Q. My Old Fillings In The Front Have Turned Dark. Can They Be Bleached?
A. Bonding and composite resin fillings do not bleach. Usually, polishing may help, but if not, you can have the surface of the fillings redone. Otherwise, it’s time to replace with newer bonding or porcelain laminates for longer lasting results. Remember, only replace these fillings after teeth bleaching in order to match the new, improved colour of your own natural tooth.

Q. Is There More Than One Way To Bleach?
A. Yes. The in–office option is an external light source or new laser techniques. An at-home matrix or nightguard used with a carbamide peroxide gel will also bleach teeth.

Q. I Have One Dark Tooth In The Front. Will Regular At-Home Bleaching Make It Lighter?
A. External teeth bleaching may not help. Internal bleaching may be the solution if the tooth has had the nerve removed (root canal treatment). If not, consider bonding, porcelain veneering, or capping the tooth to mask the darkness.

Q. I Have Been Smoking For Years –– Can My Teeth Be Whiter?
A. Yes. Our external teeth bleaching may or may not help. If not, the teeth can be covered with a light composite resin bonding or beautiful “stick on” porcelain laminates. However, continued heavy smoking will unfortunately shorten the longevity of any treatment result.

Q. Will A Special Whitening Toothpaste Really Lighten Teeth?
A. Yes. Our external teeth bleaching may or may not help. If not, the teeth can be covered with a light composite resin bonding or beautiful “stick on” porcelain laminates. However, continued heavy smoking will unfortunately shorten the longevity of any treatment result.