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Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Origin of Braces

The desire for straight teeth is nothing new. Although cosmetic and plastic surgery is relatively modern, “braces” date back as far as the ancient man.

When did people begin putting “braces” on their teeth?

Years ago, archaeologists discovered ancient mummies with metal bands wrapped around their teeth, indicating primal dentistry. This finding was reinforced when yet another researcher found a number of teeth bound with a gold wire inside of a Roman tomb in Egypt. This discovery insinuates that this was the first documented ligature wire, which is now used in orthodontics to affix the archwire to the bracket. In later years, between 400-500 BC, research suggests that Hippocrates and Aristotle both meditated about ways to straighten teeth and fix various dental conditions.

However, despite all of the evidence of ancient experimentation, no significant events in orthodontics really occurred until the 1700s. In 1728, Pierre Fauchard wrote a book titled The Surgeon Dentist, and devoted an entire chapter to methods of straightening teeth. Many consider Dr. Fauchard as the “Father of Orthodontia,” and some of his suggestions for dentistry are still familiar today.

What did braces look like years ago?

Years ago, traditional ‘metal’ braces were wrapped entirely around each tooth with bands and wires made of precious metals, such as gold, platinum, and silver. Steel was not commonly used for braces until the 1950s. In the 1970s, direct bonding of brackets to the teeth became popular and by the mid-70s, lingual braces were invented, which used bonded brackets placed on the inside of the teeth, making them ‘invisible.’

Advances in braces technology in recent years

As technology continues to advance the science of orthodontics, procedures now focus on being as comfortable, quick, and as invisible as possible. Dental treatment is nearly undetectable and digital computer imaging is often utilized to make treatment plans for each patient more precise.

One of the biggest breakthroughs for orthodontics in the 20th century was the discovery, developed by NASA, of heat-activated nickel-titanium alloy wires. These wires are able to use a gentler force for a longer duration than stainless steel wires and are still used today.

Invisalign brought the latest breakthrough for the 21st century – straightening teeth without the use of metal bands or wires. Instead, a series of clear plastic aligners that are completely wireless are used to achieve straighter teeth. As technology continues to emerge, future patients will be provided with even more convenience and options for achieving an attractive smile.

 

A beautiful smile has immeasurable value! If you are seeking to improve the looks of your smile, please contact Dr. Kevin B. Sands, DDS by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our contact form. Together, you and Dr. Sands can discuss the top procedures and treatments available to create your desired smile, which will be nothing less than dazzling!

Veneers: What are they, and are they right for me?

Everyone loves an attractive smile, but not all are fortunate enough to be born with one. Thankfully, there are options available to achieve that “award-winning smile” with just a simple procedure.

What are Veneers?

Veneers are a custom-made, thin shield of ceramic (porcelain) or a composite resin material that is placed and bonded over the front surface of a tooth to improve the aesthetics or protect against damage to the tooth’s surface. It may be placed on one or more teeth.

Who is a candidate for veneers?

Although veneers are not appropriate for every patient, the vast majority of people will be candidates for dental veneers. Veneers are an option for correcting many aesthetic issues such as stained, chipped, fractured, decayed or crooked teeth. It is important to seek a professional oral health assessment from a dentist to determine if veneers are an option for you.

How is the procedure performed?

A dental technician typically makes veneers in a dental lab, working from a model provided by a dentist. The entire procedure may take place in as little as two appointments. Before the veneers are designed, the front surface of the teeth will need to be reshaped by shaving off a very thin layer using a burr (a dental drill or file). The amount that is removed is minimal and equivalent to the thickness of the veneer. Next, an impression of the teeth is taken and usually sent off to the dental laboratory to cast an accurate model of the teeth, which is used to fabricate the veneers. Although this process may take up to three weeks for the final fitting, patients may be fitted with temporary veneers to protect the prepared teeth. Once the veneers are designed, they will be fitted to the prepared teeth and cemented into place. A curing light is used to activate the dental cement so that it permanently bonds the veneers to the teeth.

How long do Veneers last?

Veneers are usually an irreversible process because it is necessary to remove a small amount of enamel from the teeth to accommodate the shell. They are designed to last between 10 to 15 years, at which time they will need to be replaced. Regular cleanings from a dental hygienist are still recommended, as are regular dental checkups. To lengthen the longevity of veneers, it is recommended to avoid some foods and beverages that may stain or discolor the veneers, such as coffee, tea, or red wine. Sometimes a veneer might chip or fracture and will need to be replaced.

How much do Veneers cost?

The cost of dental veneers will vary for many reasons, including the:

  • Dentist you choose

  • Number of teeth involved (number of veneers to be placed)

  • Material used (porcelain or composite resin)

  • Cost of any procedure(s) that may need to be done beforehand

If your goal is to achieve a beautiful smile and you are considering dental veneers, please call the office of Dr. Kevin B. Sands, DDS at (310) 273-0111 or fill out our contact form. Together, you and Dr. Sands can decide if dental veneers are right for you.

George Washington’s Teeth

Most of us have heard the story of George Washington’s teeth. For those who do not know, there is a long-standing theory that in his later years he had dentures made of wood. Although this is a popular rumor, George Washington’s teeth were not in fact constructed from wood.

What Were They Made of?

Our first president’s fake teeth were made of several materials, but none of them were wood. His dentures were actually constructed from the following substances:

  • Ivory
  • Gold
  • Lead

There are many stories about how President Washington came to have wooden teeth. One of the most far-fetched ideas is that he carved them out of wood himself. Although the precise origin of the wooden teeth myth is not exactly clear, most historians speculate that it came about because of the staining that naturally occurred over time on his ivory teeth.

Even though his teeth were not made out of wood, his dentures caused him some degree of pain. According to a www.mountvernon.org, Washington complained that his fake teeth “are both uneasy in the mouth and bulge my lips out” and “have, by degrees worked loose.”

Fortunately, modern dentistry has made leaps and bounds since the days of our first president. From state-of-the-art lasers to the most technologically advanced dental procedures, cosmetic dentistry can vastly improve just about anyone’s oral health and the appearance of their teeth.

At his Beverly Hills practice, Dr. Kevin Sands offers a wide array of cosmetic dental treatments to help each and every one of his patients achieve the smile they desire. If you are interested in improving the appearance of your teeth, we encourage you to contact our practice by calling (310) 273-0111 or by filling out our online contact form today.

Famous Teeth

A person’s smile isn’t just a facial expression; it’s a statement about who they are. With more than fifty types of smiles, it is the most scientifically studied human facial expression. This simple feature can do more than just attract admiring looks; it can amazingly define who you are.

Many celebrities are well known for their smiles and their stunning choppers. When the cameras come out, so do these famous teeth. According to the Huffington Post, the following celebrities fall nothing short of legendary in embracing their smiles.

 

 

 

Having long had a small gap between her front teeth, Madonna has become an admired singer around the world. Her slightly whitened smile beams when she is center-stage or meandering in public crowds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Moss, a distinguished supermodel, flashes her pearly whites across the nation. Her smile defines her and she is always so perfectly imperfect with her “off-duty chic” fashion sense.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actor Woody Harrelson smiling

Actor Woody Harrelson

 

 

 

 

With a slight gap between his front teeth, Woody Harrelson has established his acting career in Hollywood. Disregarding the pressures put on men in the industry, he has obtained an admirable self-image.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Singer Jewel smiling wearing purple top

Singer Jewel

 

 

 

 

One of the most definitive smiles belongs to, singer and actress, Jewel. She believes she got her big-break in her career due to her characteristic teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kirsten Dunst is yet another celebrity whose teeth attributes to her popularity. The natural imperfections in her smile give her flawless beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actress Jessica Pare who portrays Megan on the hit AMC television show, Mad Men

Photo Credit: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com

 

 

 

 

 

Lastly, at the mention of Jessica Pare, there is a common association with her smile. Her role as Megan on the sitcom Mad Men have people buzzing about her most famous feature, her teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If your desire is to upgrade your smile, please contact Dr. Kevin B. Sands, DDS by calling (310) 273-0111 or filling out our contact form. Together, you and Dr. Sands can discuss the top procedures in cosmetic dentistry and decide the best way to get your smile to define you.

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