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Posts for: August, 2017

By W. Timothy Brooks DMD, PC
August 25, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry  

Bad smile? Cosmetic dentists have a wide array of tools at their disposal for improving the look of your smile. Today, cosmetic dentistry is cosmetic dentistryvery popular, from teeth bleaching and bonding to straightening and replacing missing teeth. Dr. W. Timothy Brooks is one of the finest cosmetic dentists in Huntsville, AL. He offers a full range of cosmetic procedures. Here are six ways cosmetic dentistry can help improve your smile. 

1. Snap-On Smile- Snap-On Smile can give you a brand new smile in an instant. Snap-On Smile is created using hi-tech dental resin. It fits over your teeth to give you a gorgeous, natural-looking smile. Snap-On Smile is ideal for covering crooked teeth, mild alignment problems, chipped teeth, fractures, chips, or discolored teeth. 

2. Invisalign- With Invisalign, you will be able to straighten your teeth without interrupting your life. Invisalign aligners are nearly invisible and very comfortable. They straighten teeth through the placement of controlled force on the teeth. They gently and continuously move your teeth in small increments. You will need to wear your aligners for about 22 hours every day, except to eat, brush, and floss.

3. Dental Bonding- Dental bonding is a procedure in which a resin material is applied to your teeth and hardened with a special light, to improve your smile. Bonding is used to restore decayed, cracked, and chipped teeth. This procedure is also used to fix gapped teeth and improve the appearance of discolored teeth.

4. Teeth Whitening- While it may be disheartening to feel like you've lost your best accessory— your bright smile —you can get it back. Your main options are take-home and in-office bleaching. Take-home teeth whitening involves custom-fitted trays filled with a bleaching gel that you can use at home. For in-office teeth whitening, your Huntsville, AL dentist will combine a bleaching gel with a light source to speed up the process.

5. Dental Crowns- A dental crown is an affordable dentistry option to enhance your smile. A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a tooth to re-establish its original shape and function. Since crowns fit over the teeth, they can instantly correct chips, crookedness, mild alignment problems, fractures, cracks, discoloration, and more.

6. Dental Implants- Missing teeth can affect your appearance and have many negative effects on your oral health. Dental implants are the gold standard in the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants are replacement tooth roots made of titanium. Dental implants can restore your smile, take years off your look, and help you feel better about yourself. 

Everyone wants a beautiful smile, and why not? One of the most glamorous ways to improve your appearance is with a beautiful smile. Are you ready to take your smile from ordinary to extraordinary? Call our office at 256-883-8008 today to schedule a dental consultation in Huntsville, AL. Remember, a better life starts with a better-looking smile.

By W. Timothy Brooks DMD, PC
August 23, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: antibiotics  

The development of antibiotic drugs is widely considered one of the greatest medical achievements of the last century. Their widespread use has turned life-threatening diseases like cholera, strep throat or bacterial meningitis into manageable, treatable ones. It’s no exaggeration to say antibiotics changed the face of healthcare, including dentistry.

But this gleaming sword for fighting dangerous diseases has a double edge because our biological “enemies” can adapt to the microscopic attacks against them. This has created an ironic conundrum: as antibiotics have proliferated in both the amount and frequency used they’ve become less effective against ever-resistant organisms.

This unfortunate situation has been helped along by a widespread, misguided practice in the medical profession, created by a “better safe than sorry” philosophy, to use them to treat any illness. This has morphed in recent decades into using antibiotics as a preventive measure in those not even exhibiting signs of disease, which then evolved into using antibiotics as a feed additive for livestock. As a result, antibiotic drugs have made their way into the food chain to accelerate, in many people’s opinion, bacterial and viral resistance.

What can we do then as “super-bugs” are on the rise, like Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) which is resistant to the most common antibiotics?

Certainly, continuing research into creating new antibiotics that address resistance is vital. But it won’t be enough: we — both healthcare providers and patients — must also change our approach and attitude toward antibiotics. This means putting in place better prescription guidelines that reduce the application of antibiotics for only those conditions where it’s absolutely necessary. And, we must restrict their use as a preventive measure, particularly in regard to their use in livestock feed.

This will take a change in everyone’s mindset, our professional standards and guidelines, and perhaps our laws. Thankfully, many are seeing the looming danger, and change is already happening. But time is of the essence, and the future depends on it — not just for people today but also for tomorrow’s generations.

If you would like more information on prudent antibiotic use, 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 “Antibiotics: Use and Abuse.”

By W. Timothy Brooks DMD, PC
August 08, 2017
Category: Oral Health

Some people are lucky — they never seem to have a mishap, dental or otherwise. But for the rest of us, accidents just happen sometimes. Take actor Jamie Foxx, for example. A few years ago, he actually had a dentist intentionally chip one of his teeth so he could portray a homeless man more realistically. But recently, he got a chipped tooth in the more conventional way… well, conventional in Hollywood, anyway. It happened while he was shooting the movie Sleepless with co-star Michelle Monaghan.

“Yeah, we were doing a scene and somehow the action cue got thrown off or I wasn't looking,” he told an interviewer. “But boom! She comes down the pike. And I could tell because all this right here [my teeth] are fake. So as soon as that hit, I could taste the little chalkiness, but we kept rolling.” Ouch! So what's the best way to repair a chipped tooth? The answer it: it all depends…

For natural teeth that have only a small chip or minor crack, cosmetic bonding is a quick and relatively easy solution. In this procedure, a tooth-colored composite resin, made of a plastic matrix with inorganic glass fillers, is applied directly to the tooth's surface and then hardened or “cured” by a special light. Bonding offers a good color match, but isn't recommended if a large portion of the tooth structure is missing. It's also less permanent than other types of restoration, but may last up to 10 years.

When more of the tooth is missing, a crown or dental veneer may be a better answer. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that are placed over the entire front surface of the tooth. They are made in a lab from a model of your teeth, and applied in a separate procedure that may involve removal of some natural tooth material. They can cover moderate chips or cracks, and even correct problems with tooth color or spacing.

A crown is the next step up: It's a replacement for the entire visible portion of the tooth, and may be needed when there's extensive damage. Like veneers, crowns (or caps) are made from models of your bite, and require more than one office visit to place; sometimes a root canal may also be needed to save the natural tooth. However, crowns are strong, natural looking, and can last many years.

But what about teeth like Jamie's, which have already been restored? That's a little more complicated than repairing a natural tooth. If the chip is small, it may be possible to smooth it off with standard dental tools. Sometimes, bonding material can be applied, but it may not bond as well with a restoration as it will with a natural tooth; plus, the repaired restoration may not last as long as it should. That's why, in many cases, we will advise that the entire restoration be replaced — it's often the most predictable and long-lasting solution.

Oh, and one more piece of advice: Get a custom-made mouthguard — and use it! This relatively inexpensive device, made in our office from a model of your own teeth, can save you from a serious mishap… whether you're doing Hollywood action scenes, playing sports or just riding a bike. It's the best way to protect your smile from whatever's coming at it!

If you have questions about repairing chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin” and “Porcelain Veneers.”

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W. Timothy Brooks DMD, PC

Huntsville, AL Dentist
W. Timothy Brooks DMD, PC
500 Whitesport Drive SW, Suite 3
Huntsville, AL 35801
(256) 883-8008
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