120 Office Park Drive, Mountain Brook, AL 35223, (205) 423-9140

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Mountain Brook, AL Gentle Dentist
Mountain Brook Smiles
120 Office Park Drive
Mountain Brook, AL 35223
(205) 423-9140
Mountain Brook Gentle Dentist
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Posts for: May, 2017

FifthHarmonysCamilaCabelloChipsaToothbutConcertStillWorthIt

Everyone loves a concert where there's plenty of audience participation… until it starts to get out of hand.├é┬áRecently, the platinum-selling band Fifth Harmony was playing to a packed house in Atlanta when things went awry for vocalist Camila Cabello. Fans were batting around a big plastic ball, and one unfortunate swing sent the ball hurtling toward the stage — and directly into Cabello's face. Pushing the microphone into her mouth, it left the “Worth It” singer with a chipped front tooth.

Ouch! Cabello finished the show nevertheless, and didn't seem too upset. “Atlanta… u wild… love u,” she tweeted later that night. “Gotta get it fixed now tho lol.” Fortunately, dentistry offers a number of ways to make that chipped tooth look as good as new.

A small chip at the edge of the tooth can sometimes be polished with dental instruments to remove the sharp edges. If it's a little bigger, a procedure called dental bonding may be recommended. Here, the missing part is filled in with a mixture of plastic resin and glass fillers, which are then cured (hardened) with a special light. The tooth-colored bonding material provides a tough, lifelike restoration that's hard to tell apart from your natural teeth. While bonding can be performed in just one office visit, the material can stain over time and may eventually need to be replaced.

Porcelain veneers are a more long-lasting solution. These wafer-thin coverings go over the entire front surface of the tooth, and can resolve a number of defects — including chips, discoloration, and even minor size or spacing irregularities. You can get a single veneer or have your whole smile redone, in shades ranging from a pearly luster to an ultra-bright white; that's why veneers are a favorite of Hollywood stars. Getting veneers is a procedure that takes several office visits, but the beautiful results can last for many years.

If a chip or crack extends into the inner part of a tooth, you'll probably need a crown (or cap) to restore the tooth's function and appearance. As long as the roots are healthy, the entire part of the tooth above the gum line can be replaced with a natural-looking restoration. You may also need a root canal to remove the damaged pulp material and prevent infection if the fracture went too far. While small chips or cracks aren't usually an emergency (unless accompanied by pain), damage to the tooth's pulp requires prompt attention.

If you have questions about smile restoration, please contact us and schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty As Never Before” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”


By Mountain Brook Smiles
May 16, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

There's no reason to live with a smile you don't love. Veneers offer a simple way to change the appearance of your teeth and boost your veneersself-esteem. Dr. Wes Samford of Mountain Brook Smiles in Mountain Brook, AL, explains how you can the smile of your dreams with veneers.

Can veneers really change my smile?

When you look at a veneer, it may seem hard to believe that this thin piece of porcelain can really make a difference in your smile. Veneers are designed to hide small imperfections in the front surfaces of teeth, rather than permanently change them. For example, you could hide a discolored tooth with a crown, but that would mean reducing the size of your tooth to on all four sides to make it small enough to accommodate the crown. Since veneers are only attached to the fronts of teeth, your tooth enamel will only need to be removed very slightly.

Veneers are created in a dental laboratory by technicians who work with a mold of your mouth. Using a mold ensures that your veneers will look completely natural after they're applied to your teeth with dental cement.

You'll only need to visit our Mountain Brook office twice if you choose veneers. During the first visit, your teeth will be filed and an impression of your teeth will be made. The next time you visit the office, you'll receive your new veneers.

What types of problems do veneers address?

Versatile veneers offer a good solution to many cosmetic issues, including:

  • Spaces: If you don't like the gap between your front teeth, it can be easily closed with a veneer.
  • Shape and Length: Adding a veneer to your tooth instantly changes the shape or length, or both. Veneers are a great choice if you don't like a crooked or twisted tooth, think those pointed teeth make you look a little like a vampire, or are concerned that one or two teeth aren't quite as long as they should be.
  • Minor Imperfections: Do you have small chips or cracks in your teeth? Cover them with veneers.
  • Color Issues: Whether one tooth is discolored, or you want to whiten all of your teeth, you'll want to consider veneers. Depending on your preferences, veneers can match the color of the rest of your smile or can be used to lighten and brighten dull teeth.

Don't let a few little imperfections ruin your smile. Call Mountain Brook, AL, dentist Dr. Samford of Mountain Brook Smiles at (205) 423-9140 to set up an appointment to discuss veneers.


By Mountain Brook Smiles
May 14, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: tooth pain  
OnlyaDentalExamcanIdentifytheRootCauseofYourToothPain

A toothache means you have tooth decay, right? Not necessarily — your pain could be signaling a number of potential causes. Determining where, how much and how often it hurts will help us find out the cause and apply the appropriate treatment.

A single symptom, for example, can mean many things. A twinge of tooth pain as you consume hot or cold foods might indicate localized tooth decay easily repaired by a filling. But it could also mean the tooth's root surface has been exposed as a result of periodontal (gum) disease — aggressive plaque removal and maybe even gum surgery might be necessary. Or it could be a sign of inner pulp decay: in this case you'll likely need a root canal treatment to save the tooth.

Pulp decay can also announce itself with a very sharp and constant pain radiating from one or more teeth. You shouldn't hesitate to see us for an examination — even if the pain goes away. Pain cessation most likely means the nerves in the pulp have died. The infection, however, still exists, so you'll still probably need a root canal treatment.

If you notice severe, continuous pain and pressure around a tooth, particularly about the gums, you may have a localized, inflamed area of infection called an abscess. An abscess can be the result of gum disease, but it might also stem from a foreign body like a popcorn husk, getting stuck below the gums. We'll need to conduct a complete dental examination to determine the cause and how to treat it.

Finally, a sharp pain when you bite down could mean many things such as a loose filling or a fractured (cracked) tooth. The latter especially requires immediate attention to save the tooth.

These are just a few of the possible causes behind mouth or facial pain. Although all of them are serious, a few are true dental emergencies and can't wait if we're going to save a tooth. The sooner you see us, the sooner we can help relieve the pain, minimize any damage and avert disaster.

If you would like more information on treating tooth pain, 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 “Tooth Pain? Don't Wait!