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3 Excellent Tooth Replacement Solutions

porcelain dental bridge

Losing a tooth as a kid means a visit from the tooth fairy with a sizable donation made under your pillow. However, when a tooth goes missing as an adult, it only means gaps in your smile and extensive dental work. As you peruse the Internet for tooth replacement solutions, the options seem endless. Which one is right for you? Sitting down with an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist is key to helping you gain back your smile.

Missing teeth? We have you covered. At Pennsylvania Center for Dental Excellence, we offer a variety of tooth replacement options, including dental bridges, dentures, and dental implants. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet with Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau where he will perform a thorough examination and give his expert opinion on which option would be best suited for you. Because the tooth replacement options available can seem overwhelming at first, we have put together a quick description of three of the best to help bring a little more clarity. Read on to learn more, or simply schedule your consultation by contacting our office online or calling (215) 515-7336.

1. Dental Bridges

If tooth loss is isolated to one section of your mouth and left you with gaps in your smile caused by one to three missing teeth – a dental bridge is often recommended. It does just as it’s name implies – bridges the gap between two remaining teeth. A dental bridge is typically made from porcelain to provide both sturdy and realistic results. Created from one piece of porcelain, it will consist of at least one artificial tooth flanked by two dental crowns. The crowns will be permanently secured to the teeth on either side of the gap. Thanks to our in-house CEREC® technology, we can create same-day dental bridges so you can receive faster results and lower treatment costs.

2. Dentures

We offer both removable partial dentures and full dentures. The type recommended will depend on the amount of teeth missing. If tooth loss is sporadic, but you still have healthy remaining teeth throughout your mouth, a partial denture can help fill in the gaps. Your oral device will consist of replacement teeth attached to a gum-colored acrylic base fastened to a metal framework with small clasps. It will fit inside your mouth much like a traditional retainer and can be easily removed for cleaning.

A full denture is recommended when patients are missing an entire arch of teeth in either their upper or lower jaw. Also made from realistic looking materials designed to match the aesthetics of your former smile, the full denture will rest directly over your gums. Both suction and an adhesive will hold the device in place. It can also be removed nightly for cleaning and to rest your gums.

3. Dental Implants

As the newest restorative option, dental implants are used to provide a solid foundation for a dental crown, dental bridge, or full arch denture. Typically made from titanium, these small posts are inserted into your jawbone through a quick surgical procedure. Over the course of the next four to six months, the implants will integrate with surrounding tissues before a customized restoration is attached. An implant-supported restoration is the only tooth replacement solution available that can replace the entire tooth from root to crown. It provides unmatched durability and longer-lasting results.

Which One is Right for You?

Contact our Philadelphia office today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Tau. You can reach us conveniently online or by calling (215) 607-2413

Periodontics: How to Diagnose and Treat Periodontal Disease

Periodontics is required to treat the different stages of periodontal disease.Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is a chronic gum infection that can negatively affect the health of your gums, teeth, and jawbone. As the disease spreads throughout your mouth, it can cause chronic bad breath, tissue degeneration, pain and swelling, and tooth loss. If left untreated, it can even lead to serious systemic issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), periodontal disease affects close to half of the people in the United States. That means that nearly one out of every two people you come in contact with in a day struggle with some type of this disorder. When caught in it’s earliest stages, symptoms can often be reversed and easily treated. This is why visiting your dentist for routine cleanings and examinations twice a year is very important.

Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau provides periodontics – the prevention and treatment of periodontal disease – at his practice for those either suffering from, or susceptible to this gum infection. Below are some of the top signs to be aware of and tips for how to prevent the disease from occurring. If you are concerned about the health of your smile, or it’s been awhile since you lasted visited the dentist, please contact Pennsylvania Center for Dental Excellence today online or by calling (215) 712-8130 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tau.

Top Signs of Periodontal Disease

Some of the most common signs of gum disease include:

  • Red and swollen gums
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Pain when biting down or chewing
  • Sensitivity to hot and cold beverages
  • Gums that are sore to the touch
  • Visible infection, such as an abscess along the gum line

 

Because these signs can also be confused with symptoms of a cavity or severely infected tooth, it’s important to visit the dentist as soon as side effects are experienced. Dr. Tau will be able to perform a complete examination to identify the cause of your discomfort and use x-ray technology to view what’s going on below the underlying layers.

Are You at Risk of Developing Periodontal Disease?

Although anyone is susceptible to developing periodontal disease, there are certain factors that may put you at greater risk. Poor oral hygiene and nutrition are two of the leading causes of periodontal disease. If you fail to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and visit the dentist biannually, it is highly possible you will develop both cavities and periodontal disease. Maintaining a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates is also a key component.

However, even if you maintain the healthiest diet and regimented oral hygiene routine, you are still at risk if you:

  • Have a family history of periodontal disease
  • Smoke or chew tobacco
  • Have diabetes or another autoimmune disorder
  • Grind your teeth
  • Take certain medications, such as oral contraceptives or anti-depressants
  • Have a stressful lifestyle
  • Are pregnant or going through menopause

Ways to Treat Periodontal Disease

If you have the beginning signs of periodontal disease, Dr. Tau may recommend a deep cleaning that includes scaling and root planing. During this treatment, the hygienist will numb your gums to provide optimal comfort. She will then use a scaler to remove plaque and bacteria from the base of your teeth, between teeth, and below the gum line. A root planing device will then be used to smooth the root surface of the tooth. This eliminates any grooves to prevent bacteria from getting easily trapped and helps the gums fit tighter against the base of the tooth. Sometimes more aggressive treatments are required, such as gum or bone grafting to replace unhealthy tissue. These procedures typically involves meeting with a periodontist or oral surgeon.

Call Today to Book Your Appointment

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above, or are concerned you may be at risk for developing periodontal disease – please contact Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau today. You can call us at (215) 712-8130 or request an appointment online

Are Porcelain Dental Veneers Right for You?

dental veneers being placed over damaged teeth.Porcelain dental veneers provide patients who are dissatisfied with their smile as a result of cosmetic imperfections the opportunity to dramatically enhance its appearance. This cosmetic dentistry treatment can address numerous issues at once, making it a popular choice amongst patients.

Renowned Hollywood dentist, Dr. Charles Pincus first created dental veneers in the 1920s to help temporarily improve the appearance of actors’ smiles when filming. Once filming was complete for the day, the veneers would be removed and then reapplied the next day. In the 1960s, Dr. Michael Bunocore fashioned a permanent bonding agent for dental sealants and restorations that by the 1980s was being used to permanently bond veneers to the front surface of teeth, revolutionizing the world of cosmetic dentistry. As dental veneers have continued to expand and advance, they have grown in popularity over the past few decades, not just in Hollywood, but for anyone looking for a way to transform their smile.

To learn if you are good candidate, read on or contact Philadelphia cosmetic dentist Dr. Tau at our office today online or by calling (215) 544-2337.

What Does Your Smile Reveal?

When you inspect your smile, what do you see? Do you notice teeth that:

  • Are yellowish, grayish, or stained?
  • Have rough edges or are misshaped?
  • Have cracks or chips?
  • Are crooked or disproportionate?
  • Have gaps?

If you answered yes to more than one of these questions, you may find that dental veneers would make a great solution. Many patients find this treatment beneficial because it can do in one treatment what would take months with teeth whitening and Invisalign®. In fact, dental veneers are even better because they can cover teeth with stubborn dental stains that cannot be removed with traditional teeth whitening treatments.

How Do Dental Veneers Work?

The first step is meeting with Dr. Tau to determine if you are good candidate. He will carefully examine the health of your teeth and gums for any signs of decay or gum disease. Because dental veneers require a small amount of enamel removal, he will check the density of your enamel to make sure it is strong enough to withstand the procedure. Patients with weaker enamel or dental sensitivity may not qualify for this procedure.

Once it is determined you are a good candidate, the teeth will be prepared and impressions taken to design a model of your smile that a dental lab will use in manufacturing your veneers. Each veneer will be custom-made from medical grade porcelain, color-matched to blend beautifully with the natural aesthetics of your smile.

At your follow-up appointment, Dr. Tau will check that your veneers are a good fit, then permanently bond them in place over the front surface of your teeth. With your natural teeth gently prepared and the thin veneers secured, your newly fashioned smile will deliver seamless, realistic results. Patients with veneers can’t help but smile to show off their new Hollywood smile.

Schedule Your Consultation

With dental veneers, Dr. Tau can deliver the smile of your dreams in just two office visits. To schedule your initial consultation and determine if this cosmetic dentistry procedure is right for you, simply fill out our online form of give us a call at (215) 544-2337.

Five Great Benefits of Invisalign®

Wearing orthodontic silicone trainer close up

Crooked and overlapping teeth are not just issues that affect children and teenagers. Even adults who had braces as an adolescent have difficulty maintaining their results and are plagued by the appearance of their teeth. Although many adults today are unhappy with their smiles, they avoid doing anything about it out of fear of looking unprofessional in metal braces. But did you know you can effectively and discreetly straighten your smile with clear braces? Invisalign® uses a series of customized aligners designed to fit comfortably over your top and bottom teeth to shift teeth into proper alignment.

Both teenagers and adults alike find this orthodontic system beneficial for many great reasons. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau is proud to offer this orthodontic solution for his patients. Read on to learn five great benefits of Invisalign® or call our office today at (215) 709-9460 to schedule your consultation.

No Food Restrictions

Invisalign® aligners are removable, thus you can eat all your favorite foods, including caramel candies and popcorn. The brackets and wires associated with traditional braces can be easily damaged by these types of foods and must be avoided throughout treatment.

More Comfortable than Traditional Braces

Each aligner is fabricated from smooth plastic and will fit comfortably over your teeth. With this orthodontic system, you never have to worry about brackets irritating the inside of your cheeks and lips, causing painful sores or callouses.

Virtually Invisible

Because your aligners are made from clear, BPA-free plastic, and fashioned to fit closely over your teeth, they are discreet and virtually invisible. Most people will be unaware you are wearing orthodontics. However, if you have a special speaking engagement or photography session and you don’t want to worry about your aligners causing an issue, you can simply remove them.

Easy to Maintain

Caring for your aligners is simple. When not wearing them, keep them stored in a hard, plastic container and out of the heat. Each morning and night, remove them to brush your teeth and then use toothpaste and your toothbrush to keep them fresh and clean. When rinsing them, use cool water. Hot water could cause aligners to warp, making them ineffective. Dr. Tau will monitor your results every six weeks to make sure your teeth are responding well to treatment.

More Affordable, Faster Treatment

Traditional braces cost anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000 (possibly more), depending on where you get them, and require monthly office visits. Treatment generally takes at least 18 to 36 months. As Invisalign® continues to grow in popularity, more and more dentists are offering specials and insurance companies are choosing to cover a portion of the cost. Not only is Invisalign® more affordable, but patients can achieve results in 12 to 15 months with fewer office visits.

However, it’s important to note that Invisalign® is only effective if you follow proper protocol. Aligners should be worn in two-week intervals for at least 20 to 22 hours a day. They should only be removed for eating, cleaning, and special occasions. If not, your treatment may take longer.

Straighten Your Smile

If you are looking for an effective and discreet way to straighten your smile in just a matter of months – contact our Philadelphia office today at (215) 709-9460 to schedule your office visit.

 

Philadelphia Dentist Explains Denture Maintenance

denture careCaring for your dentures doesn’t have to be complicated. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Len Tau explains how to keep your prosthetic teeth in tip-top shape. When it comes to maintaining your dentures, you should (almost) treat them as you would natural teeth. The major difference between cleaning natural and prosthetic teeth is the toothpaste. Dr. Tau urges his patients not to use toothpaste to clean their dentures, as it’s too abrasive and can easily scratch prosthetic teeth. When your dentures become scratched, the small grooves are an ideal place for bacteria to accumulate, which could cause your dentures to develop a foul odor.

Regardless of whether you have implant-retained or traditional dentures, you should attend a biannual checkup to examine the condition of your prosthetic teeth. At your consultation, Dr. Tau will determine if you need a new set of dentures or if your original pair should be refitted.

Want to learn more about how to properly care for your dentures? Call 215-826-3202 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tau in Philadelphia, PA.

Brushing Your Dentures

Just as you would natural teeth, dentures should be brushed every morning and night. After each meal, Dr. Tau encourages patients to rinse their dentures under cool water to remove food particles. You should brush your dentures with a soft bristled toothbrush or a special denture toothbrush, which can be found at your local grocery store. These brushes aren’t as harsh as other toothbrushes, which means the bristles won’t scratch the dentures.

Rather than using toothpaste, denture patients should clean their teeth with water or cleanser. Dr. Tau instructs patients to remove their dentures before going to sleep to allow gum tissue time to rest. Each night, you should place your dentures in a glass of cool water or cleansing solution to prevent them from drying out.

Aside from just brushing your dentures, you should brush your tongue, gums, and natural teeth. Bacteria that cause bad breath are found on the surface of the tongue. Brushing your gums will remove harmful bacteria and prevent the development of periodontal disease.

The Next Step in Denture Care

After you brush your dentures, gums, natural teeth, and tongue, you should use an antibacterial mouthwash to remove harmful bacteria. Mouthwash should be used after you take out your dentures.

Bacteria build up can lead to gum disease, an irreversible oral condition that ruins periodontal health. Gum disease has been linked to cardiovascular disease, higher risk of stroke, and diabetes.

Once you’ve used an antibacterial mouthwash, Dr. Tau recommends using a tongue scraper. This inexpensive dental tool removes bad breath bacteria from the surface of the tongue.

Helpful Tips for Top-Notch Denture Care

Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau instructs his patients to use cool water when maintaining their dentures. Hot water can warp or damage prosthetic teeth.

Dentures should be replaced every five to ten years. If you’re unsure whether it’s time for new dentures, simply attend a dental checkup. Dr. Tau will look at the condition and fit of your prosthetic teeth and decide if the teeth should be replaced or just refit.

A crucial factor in denture maintenance is attending regular dental appointments with Dr. Tau. Not only will he assess the condition of your dentures, but he will also examine your gums.

We’re happy to answer any questions you have about denture maintenance. Call 215-826-3202 today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Tau in Philadelphia, PA.

What to Expect with Dental Implants

dental implantsPhiladelphia dentist Dr. Len Tau recommends dental implants and implant-retained devices for patients with missing teeth. Unlike alternative restorations, dental implants stimulate bone to maintain a healthy, strong jaw. At a consultation, Dr. Tau inspects the condition of the jawbone and gums to determine if the patient is a good candidate for implant surgery.

Implant-retained devices, such as crowns, crown and bridges, or dentures, snap onto the dental posts to establish a secure restoration. When these devices are used without an implant, bone isn’t stimulated; therefore it begins to wear down. An unused jawbone can lead to structural facial changes.

The quickest way to determine dental implant candidacy is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tau in our Philadelphia, PA office. Call 215-544-2615 to make your appointment today.

What Are Dental Implants? 

A dental implant resembles a screw and is made of biocompatible titanium. The post is surgically imbedded into viable jawbone through a small incision in the gums. Because this procedure is surgical, Dr. Tau must deem you fit for surgery before beginning. He will review your medical history to determine if this treatment is appropriate for you.

After dental implants are placed, Dr. Tau waits four to six months before he attaches the custom-made restorative device. During this time, the implants merge with surrounding tissue and bone through osseointegration.

Dental Implant Candidacy

Aside from a strong, healthy jawbone and gums, ideal dental implant candidates must commit to proper maintenance after the surgery. Maintenance depends on which restorative device is used. However, twice daily brushing and flossing will ensure long-lasting results and a healthy, beautiful smile.

Implant-retained dentures should be removed each night for proper cleaning. Dr. Tau encourages patients to brush the prosthetic device, gums, and implants. Floss around each dental post to remove bacteria and trapped food particles.

Crowns and bridges are cleaned just as natural teeth are. Patients with these devices should brush and floss every morning and night.

Dr. Tau encourages dental implant candidates to refrain from using tobacco products after surgery. Avid smokers are encouraged to attempt to stop smoking, for better results.

If you want dental implants, but don’t have a strong jawbone, Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau recommends bone grafting. During this surgery, healthy bone tissue is taken from another part of your body or donor tissue is used to build a viable foundation for the implants.

How Are Dental Implants Used?

Although dental implants can be used in numerous situations, they’re commonly used for replacing missing teeth. A crown and one implant replace a single missing tooth, while one to three missing teeth are corrected with an implant-retained crown and bridge device.

Entire rows of teeth are replaced with dentures. Dr. Tau places two dental implants into the upper jawbone and two into the lower, to establish a strong foundation for implant-retained dentures. Collectively, this procedure is referred to as All-On-Four dental implants or dentures.

Traditional dentures often shift and slide on top of gums, which causes irritation. Implant-retained dentures are securely affixed to the posts to prevent movement. Additionally, denture patients often fear that their prosthetic teeth will fall out. However, when dentures are snapped onto dental implants, they won’t move or embarrassingly fall out during mealtime.

For more information about dental implants, schedule an appointment with Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau. Call 215-544-2615 to speak with a friendly staff member today.

Tooth Whitening: KöR Deep Bleaching vs. Porcelain Veneers

tooth whitening treatmentDark-colored foods and beverages create external dental stains. These stains are removed through professional tooth whitening treatment, such as KöR® Deep Bleaching. Internal stains result from tobacco use, genetics, and tetracycline antibiotics. Most professional whitening procedures won’t remove internal stains. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Len Tau recommends porcelain veneers for teeth that don’t accept whitening agents.

Some patients have trouble deciding if they’ll benefit from profession tooth whitening treatment. If you have multiple teeth that aren’t as radiant and bright as you’d like, then KöR® is the right choice for you. If you’ve tried professional whitening procedures, but still aren’t happy with your results, you may lean more towards porcelain veneers. If you’re undecided, a consultation with Dr. Tau is a great way to make an educated decision.

Call 215-544-2915 to schedule a tooth whitening consultation with Philadelphia, PA dentist Dr. Tau today. He’s more than happy to answer any questions you have about tooth whitening procedures and dental stains.

All About KöR® Deep Bleaching 

Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau made the decision to offer KöR® Deep Bleaching to his patients because it’s effective and reliable. This tooth whitening treatment is completed in our office. However, for permanent results, patients must complete at-home treatments to maintain a radiant, pearly white smile

KöR® whitens all of your teeth at once. After treatment, you should experience little to no tooth sensitivity. This treatment stands out from alternative procedures because the chemicals in the whitening gel dissolve the molecules that make up dental stains and restore teeth’s ability to absorb oxygen.

All About Porcelain Veneers

If you have a single severely stained tooth, the ideal tooth whitening treatment for you is a porcelain veneer. Dr. Tau creates a thin shell from porcelain and permanently bonds it to the front of your discolored tooth. When veneers are used in alternative situations, the porcelain is matched to the color of surrounding teeth. However, when a veneer is used for tooth whitening purposes, Dr. Tau selects a brighter shade of porcelain.

Veneers are an irreversible procedure. Most patients appreciate the longevity of their results, as well as the fact that there’s no need for special maintenance to ensure long-lasting results.

There’s no need to worry if the shape of the veneer will stand out from your natural teeth. Dr. Tau shapes the porcelain shell to blend seamlessly with surrounding teeth. You can expect a cohesive enhancement after having a veneer placed over a discolored tooth.

KöR® Deep Bleaching vs. Porcelain Veneers

When it comes to deciding which tooth whitening treatment is right for you, it all comes down to two things. Are you committed to maintaining your dramatic results through at-home care? How many teeth need to brighten up so that you’ll love how your smile looks?

KöR® Deep Bleaching requires touch up treatment, in order to experience long lasting results. However, these treatments are completed in the comforts of your own home and are easy. Dr. Tau will explain how to perform the at-home treatments, as well as how often you’ll need touch ups. Veneers don’t require additional work once the shell is bonded to the tooth.

If you have one tooth that stands out from the rest, Dr. Tau recommends veneers over KöR® treatment.

If you’re having trouble making a decision about which tooth whitening treatment is ideal for you, call 215-544-2915 to schedule a consultation with Philadelphia, PA dentist Dr. Tau.

What’s the Deal with Same-Day Crowns?

same-day crowns appointmentSay goodbye to multiple visits to the dentist’s office. Philadelphia dentist Dr. Len Tau has invested in CEREC same-day crowns so that patients can have a restoration designed and placed in a single dental visit. Ordinary crowns require more than one appointment. They also require that patients wear a temporary crown while the permanent one is being made. Dr. Tau fashions a customized ceramic crown without the need for an unpleasant dental impression.

You might wonder how this is possible. CEREC technology allows Dr. Tau to take a 3D color scan of teeth and create a crown from a CEREC Bloc. The Bloc is then sculpted into the exact shape needed to cap a damaged tooth.

Need a crown or want to replace an old metal restoration? Call 215-544-2915 today to schedule your same-day crown appointment with Philadelphia, PA dentist Dr. Tau.

Who Needs a Crown? 

Before we can explain who needs a crown, it’s imperative to discuss what a crown is. A dental crown is a protective cap that is placed over an entire tooth. A crown can be used with a dental implant to replace a single missing tooth or alone to cover a weak or damaged tooth.

Patients who undergo root canal therapy have a custom-made crown placed over the repaired tooth. A crown is also used to hold a cracked or broken tooth together.

If you have an old metal crown that you’d like to replace with a natural-looking ceramic restoration, CEREC same-day crown is the appropriate procedure for you. Patients who have a damaged, weak, or broken tooth are ideal candidates for same-day crowns with Philadelphia dentist Dr. Tau.

How Are Same-Day Crowns Different?

For most dental offices, it takes at least two appointments to properly place a porcelain crown. At the first appointment, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth and places a temporary restoration over the damaged tooth to provide minimal protection until the permanent crown is created. At the second visit, the dentist removes the temporary and bonds the permanent crown onto the tooth.

Dr. Tau’s method is entirely different. Thanks to CEREC same-day crowns, there’s no need for a dental impression. Most patients appreciate this feature of same-day crowns because impressions are sometimes foul tasting and irritate sensitive gag refluxes.

Instead of an impression, Dr. Tau uses advanced CEREC technology to generate a 3D scan of teeth. He uses the scan to fashion a ceramic crown, while the patient waits in the office. There’s no need for an additional appointment because we use a specialized CEREC machine to sculpt a crown, using the 3D image. Since the permanent crown is created while the patient is in the office, a temporary crown isn’t needed.

How Are Same-Day Crowns Placed?

After he generates the full color 3D model of the teeth, Dr. Tau quickly designs the crown using the CEREC machine. During this time, patients usually enjoy a magazine or catch up on emails. A CEREC Bloc is placed into the milling machine and is sculpted to reflect the 3D scan. CEREC same-day crowns eliminate the guessing factor of creating crowns. Instead, a precise and beautiful restoration that is guaranteed to fit the damaged tooth is created.

Next, Dr. Tau bonds the permanent, ceramic crown onto the affected tooth. The crown provides strength and protection to the once damaged tooth.

Are you ready to have a natural-looking, comfortable crown placed over your damaged tooth? Call 215-544-2915 today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Tau in Philadelphia, PA.

Crown and Bridge or Implants?

bridge and crownIf you have lost a tooth, there are several reasons why you should have it replaced–but you may be wondering which tooth replacement option is right for you. The traditional choice is a crown and bridge, which uses the teeth surrounding a gap to support a replacement tooth. The more advanced option is a freestanding dental implant that replaces the missing tooth, root to crown.

Philadelphia dentist Len Tau provides both treatments and can help you decide which is right for you. Both are valid options, but there are several differences you should be aware of.

Bridge and Crown (Dental Bridge)

For a bridge and crown approach to tooth replacement, the two natural teeth surrounding the site of the missing tooth are treated with crowns, which support a replacement tooth (pontic). This one-piece construction is referred to as a dental bridge and it can replace a lost tooth for many years.

Some of the benefits to this restoration are that it stabilizes the teeth to preserve your alignment, looks natural, and gives you back your full range of dentition. Drawbacks of a dental bridge include the fact that it (1) does noting to prevent bone loss at the site where the tooth was lost, (2) may be harder to floss and keep the gum tissue clean beneath the bridge, and (3) is dependent on the continued good health of the crowned teeth. If either crowned tooth fails (due to decay) the whole bridge fails.

Dental Implantsdental implant view

A dental implant is different from a dental bridge because it feels and acts more like a natural tooth. The implant base is surgically placed in the jaw bone to mimic a natural tooth root. Over a period of a few months, the implant bonds with the bone and can then be used to support a full crown.

Benefits of a dental implant for single tooth replacement include (1) better long-term jawbone health, (2) a more permanent tooth replacement, (3) and fewer changes to your oral hygiene routine.

Potential drawbacks to a dental implant are the cost and time commitment required of the treatment. Dental implants can take 3-6 months before your new tooth is ready to attach and cost a good bit more than a dental bridge. However, due to the fact that implants rarely need to be replaced, many people prefer this treatment.

Why You Should Replace a Missing Tooth

Regardless of which tooth replacement option you choose, it’s vital to your continued oral health that you do replace the missing tooth. Losing one tooth makes you more likely to lose teeth in the future. When there is a gap in your arch of teeth, the nearby teeth will slowly drift into the open space. This can upset the alignment of your bite, and make teeth more likely to crack and have the enamel wear down in places where teeth meet. Teeth may become more prone to deep cracks and dental decay as a result and more teeth may be lost.

Restoring a missing tooth is easy and convenient at the Philadelphia Center for Dental Excellence. Call us at 215-515-0909 to make an appointment and Dr. Tau will explain your options. Whichever you choose, you can expect a well placed and long lasting tooth replacement.

Philadelphia Dentist on the Pros and Cons of Veneers

beautiful smileIf you’ve been thinking about improving your smile, you may have heard that dental veneers are the most comprehensive and versatile cosmetic dentistry treatment available. Veneers are a great option for a wide range of cosmetic flaws, and they give you the unique opportunity to design a brand new smile for yourself, if you so desire.

Dental veneers are made of an extremely thin layer of dental porcelain that is permanently affixed to the front surface of the teeth. They are strong and durable and can totally change the appearance of one or more teeth. Philadelphia dentist Len Tau provides veneers and other cosmetic dentistry treatments to help you restore your confidence and find your brightest smile. Call us at to learn more about this treatment.

Benefits of Dental Veneers

There are several attractive benefits to dental veneers, which make them an extremely popular choice for patients seeking a smile makeover.

1. Veneers are Longer Lasting than Other Cosmetic Treatments

Veneers are a lot like a car. If you take good care of them, have them checked periodically, and don’t use them too hard they can last a very long time. Officially we put the average life-span at 12 years, but there are anecdotes of veneers lasting 17-20 years or more when properly cared for.

2. Veneers Correct a Wide Range of Flaws

This treatment can correct issues with the size, shape, color and evenness of your teeth. If your teeth are mildly crooked or crowded they can even act as “instant orthodontics” by making your teeth appear straighter. If you have two teeth that are too small, veneers can make them match your other teeth. If you don’t like how pointy your canines are, veneers can make them smoother. Intrinsic stains caused by injury, fluorosis, or antibiotics can be effectively covered and camouflaged with veneers. Many patients choose to redesign their whole smile with veneers, to get a specific look they have always admired.

3. Veneers Look Natural

There was once a time when veneers were thicker and less naturally shaped, and they often made the teeth look bigger. Thanks to advances in dental technology, veneers now look more like natural tooth enamel. Some veneers are only as thick as a contact lens. They can also be created in the shade of white you prefer, so you don’t need to worry about them looking artificial.

4. Veneers Resist Stains Better Than Natural Enamel

You’ll never need to worry about teeth whitening again, as veneers resist staining better than natural enamel. Many patients who have struggled with very porous dental enamel have chosen veneers as a way to help them stop worrying about recurrent stains and yellowing caused by pigment residue from foods and beverages.

Potential Drawbacks of Dental Veneers

Despite their many benefits, there are some aspects of veneers that you’ll need to think carefully about before considering veneers.

1. Veneers Cost More Than Many Other Cosmetic Treatments

Because they are a more thorough and permanent treatment, dental veneers do cost more than whitening treatments and dental bonding. However, many patients find them a worthy investment in their appearance, since they last such a long time and improve their smiles so profoundly.

2. Veneers are a Permanent Treatment

In order to bond the veneers to the teeth, a small amount of enamel must be removed and resurfaced. After you get veneers, you can’t really go back to not having them, as the loss of enamel may make them more vulnerable to cracking and decay. You should only get veneers if you know you are going to be committed to taking care of them. This means not using your teeth to open bottles, and not chewing on pens, for example. You must also be committed to following recommended oral hygiene practices and routine six-month visits so Dr. Tau can check on them regularly.

Would you like a cosmetic consultation to see if dental veneers are right for you? Call our Philadelphia dental office today at 215-515-0909 for an appointment with Dr. Tau.