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Monday, September 15, 2014

Another free digital makeover completed.

Completed digital smile makeover.

It's always a pleasure to complete another (free) virtual smile makeover for a website visitor. You can view this latest one here.

This case involves a smile that really wasn't all that bad looking to start with, in part because dental bonding had been placed some years ago.

Our "after" picture shows the type of improvement that should be possible by placing a set of veneers. It's a fairly subtle but really nice improvement.


 

Monday, September 8, 2014

We've chosen our next smile makeover case.

Our next digital smile makeover case.

We've chosen another submission for one of our FREE virtual smile makeovers. (Here's a listing of pending and recent cases.)

What issues are involved?

This person has already had some cosmetic dentistry performed. Many of their front teeth have already had dental bonding placed.

Their current dilemma is twofold. They are at a point where they have found that the bonding that has been placed has started to fail. And rather than just have it repaired or replaced, they are wanting to know about more permanent options.

The second issue is that they would like their smile to look more uniform (symmetrical). And they desire some minor shape changes with some of their teeth, so to more accurately reflect the general outline form they had before the bonding was placed.

If you're a dentist, it's probably rather obvious to you that this will turn out to be a porcelain veneers case.


 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Our most recent (free) virtual smile makeover.

Completed digital smile makeover.

We've just posted another (free) digital smile makeover for a website visitor. You can find it here.

Details

This case involves a smile that has a big gap between its center teeth.

The gap was closed in some years ago via the placement of a dental bridge. However, the gum line has since changed and now things don't look right.

We've simulated how a new dental bridge and crowning two additional teeth could make a big improvement for this smile.

As an alternative approach, we've also simulated how things might turn out if orthodontic treatment was used as a part of the treatment plan.

Why not send in your own picture?

If you have questions about your smile, why not submit your own picture for a virtual makeover?


 

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lingual dental braces.

Lingual dental braces.

In the USA, there's so much focus on other types of "invisible" braces (like Invisalign®) that lingual orthodontic systems (Incognito®, In-Ovation®, Harmony®) get overlooked as a possible treatment approach.

There are advantages.

Lingual braces do offer several advantages over other "invisible" systems. Not the least of which is the fact that they offer the dentist a great amount in creating tooth movements.

That's one of the Achilles' heels of removable aligner systems like Invisalign®. The amount of control that the dentist has when trying to create precise tooth movements is rudimentary at best. It can be improved by placing "buttons" or "attachments" on the teeth. But doing so can make having "invisible" treatment quite obvious to others.

Disadvantages.

The biggest disadvantage of having lingual braces is that they can be hard to get used to. And that can be an obstacle for some people.

Fortunately, now with the newer lingual systems, this seems to be less and less of a problem.

We've updated our pages.

If you're interested in the topic of lingual braces, we've just recently updated our pages on the subject. (You can find them here.)

We cover the full gamut of issues: What are they? Advantages and disadvantages. How are they placed? What are they like to wear? Costs.


 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Our next digital makeover case.

Our next digital smile makeover case.

We've recently selected our next case for a free digital smile makeover.

Clearly with this smile there's been a previous attempt to close a very wide gap that existed between this person's center two teeth.

To get a better idea of what else has transpired, we've written back to the person who submitted this case so we can learn more about what their dental history is.

Our collection of tooth-gap cases.

Closing in spaces between teeth is one of the most common issues we simulate for smiles. And we've grouped all of our cases together so they're easy to locate and browse through. You can find them here.

Why not submit your own picture for a makeover simulation?

If you have questions about how issues with your smile might be resolved, we're always looking for new cases. The service is free. Here are details about how to submit your photo.


 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Assistance for those without dental insurance.

A dentist providing dental treatment for a patient.

For years, we've kept a page on Animated-Teeth.com whose goal is to help people locate programs designed to aid those who otherwise would have difficulty affording the dental care they need.

You can find our Assistance Programs page here.

We need your help in discovering additional programs.

Without question, our table could be more complete. And that's why we're asking for help from our website's visitors.

From the feedback we receive, we know that dental professionals (dentist, hygienist, assistants) visit our site. Surely some of you must know about or even participate in programs.

And from the level of traffic our Assistance Programs page receives, we can only imagine that some number of the people who visit it ultimately discover a source that we don't have listed.

So, if you're a member of either of these groups and know of a program, we'd be eager to add it to our page.

If you do have something to share, use the email address on our Contact Us page. Thanks.


 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I think about you when I floss.

I Heart dental eCards.

What?

Yeah, we agree. We're not so sure if that sentiment is just weird or downright creepy.

Either way, we went ahead and let our "eCard guy" put that pop-up message on our (free) Hippo cards. Just click the card's green exclamation-point box to see it.

Here are links to the cards.

We have other "I " cards that your favorite dental staff member might not find quite so unnerving. You can find them here.


 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Picture taking tips for smile makeovers.

Aimated-Teeth.com Digital Smile Makeovers.

We're always frustrated when we find that someone has taken the time to submit their picture for a free digital smile makeover but the picture is such poor quality that it's simply not a case we can select.

To some degree we're dumb founded by this. We know that pretty much any cell phone can be used to take a pretty decent picture.

But then again, we know what we're doing and have done it more than once. Most people submitting their picture don't and haven't.

Photo tips and pointers.

To help out, we've expanded on our "picture taking tips and pointers" section. Hoping that the information there can help people quickly learn how to take pictures we can use.

The "acid test" section should be especially helpful for people in at least figuring out if their picture-taking activities are headed in the right direction.


 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Setting the stage for the perfect 1st dental appointment for a child.

Do you have a young one who will soon be making their first trip to the dentist's office?

Here on Animated-Teeth.com we offer some free activities that can help you as a parent or grandparent set the stage for having a great appointment.

Free dental quizzes.

You can help to prepare your child for what goes on at their dentist's office by using some of our free online quizzes. For example, check out our:

Animated-Teeth.com Dental Quizzes

A great way to use these activities is to sit with your child as they work through them, explaining all of the 'extra' things you think they should know.

Free dental eCards.

Before their appointment, send them one of our free dental eCards for a pep boost and encouragement. Here are two of them we've got for first-timers.

Animated-Teeth.com Dental eCards

You might also send one of our 'proud of you' eCards after their visit too. We've got several to choose from.


 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Do you know what this is?

Nerve tissue removed from a tooth's root canal.

What you're looking at is actual nerve tissue that's been ripped out of a tooth during the early stages of root canal treatment.

Sounds horrible, doesn't it?

Well, we'll agree that the idea of this does sound that way. But after insuring that your tooth has been thoroughly numbed up first, this is one of the kindest things your dentist can do for you.

It's a quick and efficient way for them to get a tooth's compromised nerve tissue out of the way so the discomfort it has or might have caused is no longer an issue. [We should also mention that it's not all that often that conditions are such that this step is even performed.]

The steps of root canal treatment.

Cleaning debris like this out of your tooth is an important part of endodontic therapy (having root canal). This page explains why.

And if you'd like to know more about the cleaning process in general, this page can tell you how it's done and what to expect during your appointment.

Or, if you just want to know more about root canal treatment overall, start here.


 

Monday, August 11, 2014

(Free) Makeover case completed.

Completed digital smile makeover.

We've just posted our most recent (free) digital smile makeover. You can view it here.

What's this case show?

This case involves a smile that has slightly undersized central incisors that are also in crossbite.

We've simulated how a mix of orthodontic treatment and veneer placement could be used to make a nice improvement.

Why not send in your own picture?

If you have questions about your smile, why not submit your own picture?

We're game to illustrate improvements for pretty much anything, no matter how trivial or involved. All we ask for is a clear, sharp picture. The makeover service itself is free.


 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our next makeover case.

Our next digital smile makeover case.

We've chosen our next case for a (free) digital smile makeover.

This one involves a situation where the person's front teeth bite edge-to-edge.

This person has already decided that they're OK with the idea of having orthodontic treatment and then veneers placed.

Where we fit in.

They got in touch with us because they're hoping to get an idea of what their smile will look like after the treatment has been completed, their dentist couldn't provide this service.

Have an issue with your smile?

Browse through our collection of completed cases and get an idea of how your dentist might resolve your dental issues. Or better yet, submit your own picture for a makeover. It's free.


 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Encouragement dental eCards.

We've recently added a new category to our listings of (free) dental eCards. This one is about encouragement.

If you've got someone who is getting ready to go to the dentist (1st visit, regular visit, etc...) or who has just come back from theirs (good check up, no cavities, good job, etc...), then take a look at this new category and see if there isn't a card that matches you occasion.

Here's the link. Did we mention that they're free!


 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Comparing amalgam and dental composite fillings.

A deteriorated dental amalgam filling.

We're always interested in the ongoing debate between the use of dental amalgam (silver fillings) and the newer generations of white-colored plastic filling materials.

In with the new, out with the old.

We get why people want white restorations, even for back teeth.

And we even find it laughable that someone in history would concoct a filling material that looks ugly and contains mercury (dental amalgam).

The difficulty.

The problem is, someone did and now (a couple of hundred years and billions of fillings later) it has an impressive history of being able to create inexpensive, long-lasting dental restorations. And that's hard to overlook, especially when the white alternative filling materials don't.

What's research say?

We're constantly looking for research articles that have compared dental composite with amalgam. And we've recently updated our page on the subject.

For the full story about making a comparison between the two, read this page.

If you're more interested in just the topic of comparing their service and longevity (the portion we've just updated), use this link.


 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

eCard Privacy Issues.

We received an email from a website visitor who had privacy concerns in regard to the use of our free dental eCard service (all of our cards are free).

We respect your privacy.

Our policy has always been one where email addresses are not retained, evaluated, aggregated, distributed or used in any way. We just use the address to send your card to the recipient and a copy to you. That's it.

Here's our Privacy Policy in print. We've made this link more prominent on each of our cards so it's easier to find.

eCard Categories.

 

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Who would want a smile that looks like this?

Well, you'd have to assume pretty much nobody. Unless this look is just temporary and they're getting paid to have it.

A split-arch tooth whitening study.

During this study, only one side received whitening treatment.

What you're looking at in the picture to the left is the type of results participants in the best tooth-whitening studies end up with.

We use the word "best" not because of the level of whitening results but because of the research study's design. This type of evaluation is called a split-arch study.

All whitening research should be set up this way.

Surprisingly enough, the first published account of research using this method didn't take place until 2003. And it and further studies like it were instrumental in demonstrating that the use of a bleaching light servers little purpose in any tooth whitening process. (Compare that to the claims sellers make in their advertisements.) You can read the whole story here.


 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Dental FYI.

Animated-Teeth.com FYI topics.

Are you interested in dental topics in general but at the moment there's no special subject that's on your mind?

If so, we have a FYI section on Animated-Teeth.com that links out to many of the interesting topics and issues we discuss on our pages.

Take a tour.

You can pick FYI's related to specific subjects such as: Cosmetic Dentistry, Tooth Extractions, Wisdom Teeth, Cold Sores, Root Canal Treatment, Dental Crowns, Dry Sockets, Dental Implants, or Bad Breath.

Or we have a catch-all Browse All FYI's selection that presents a randomly selected collection of FYI's from each of the above categories.


 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

UCR fees: The Catch 22 of dental insurance.

It just seems like the fix is always in for the companies we all do business with. For example:

  • You've got an agreement with a company (warranty, service agreement, insurance, etc...).
  • You think that things are going to be one way.
  • The company interprets things differently.
  • It ends up costing you money.

Welcome to the world of dental insurance.

This type of thing happens with some forms of dental insurance on a regular basis.

Many plans make use of what is called a Usual, Customary, Reasonable (UCR) fee when the dollar amount of benefits paid out are calculated.

Benefits are paid, but on the insurance company's terms.

As we explain here, the general situation is that your policy does commit the insurance company to paying a certain percentage of your dental procedure's cost (50%, 80%, 100% or whatever).

But they'll only pay that percentage if your dentist charges the same or less than what the insurance company feels that those services should cost (the UCR fee).

A win-win, for the insurance company.

The insurance company sets the UCR fee at their own discretion. And it may or may not be a realistic one. The Catch 22 part is this:

  • If your dentist charges more, you end up paying more (not the insurance company).
  • If your dentist happens to charge less, the insurance company benefits because they don't have to pay out as much (but nothing extra goes into your pocket).

There's nothing new about insurance companies using UCR fees. But not knowing about how they work can cost you money.

">Use this link to learn more.


 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Evidently we just had Justin Beaver week here at Animated-Teeth.com.

Justin Beaver dental eCard.

Last week we noticed a surge in the number of "Justin Beaver" eCards website visitors had sent. (In case you don't know, all of our dental & tooth fairy eCards are free.)

Mr. Beaver's cards are featured in two of our eCard categories:

If you take a look at these cards, be sure to click the green exclamation point box to see the quote from Justin. He's a pretty smart dude.


 

Friday, July 18, 2014

Troubles with lateral incisors.

Lateral incisors in crossbite.

We've noticed that a fair number of our digital smile makeovers involve problems with upper lateral incisors.

So many in fact that we've been able to add three new categories to our View Makeovers by Category list.

Here they are:

  • Lateral incisors in crossbite. - This condition is the case where the upper laterals have a positioning where they are actually tucked behind the lower teeth they bite against. (Like seen in the picture above.)
  • Missing lateral incisors. - These makeovers involve cases where the laterals are either truly missing or else are impacted (are present but are lodged in the jaw bone). The deciduous laterals (baby teeth) may or may not have been lost.
  • Peg lateral incisors. - Due to developmental abnormalities, some people have lateral incisors that are small and stump shaped. These makeovers show solutions for them.

While you're looking at any one of these groupings of cases, or even any individual makeover itself, you can easily switch to another subgroup by clicking the page's "Makeovers Index" button.


 

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