Posts for: February, 2019


It might not rise to the level of a miracle, but cosmetic dentistry can achieve some amazing outcomes with unattractive teeth. A skilled and experienced dentist can turn "ugly ducklings" into beautiful "swans." And that achievement might not be as in-depth or expensive as you might think, thanks to the increased use of dental materials called composite resins.

Composite resins are pliable, tooth-colored materials we apply directly to tooth surfaces. They're most often used with broken, chipped or misshapen front teeth—the composite material replaces the missing tooth structure.

Composite resins have been around for decades, but haven't been widely used because they didn't have the strength of dental porcelain. In recent years, though, dentists have perfected techniques for bonding and shaping composites to teeth that have increased their durability. With just the right skill and artistry, composites can look like natural teeth.

We can correct many tooth flaws using composite resins right in our office. After roughening up the outer enamel surface of the tooth and performing other steps to aid bonding, we begin applying liquid resins to form a base layer that we then harden with a special light source. We continue to add layers to increase the color depth and shape of the restoration, before finally polishing it to resemble natural teeth.

Composite restorations are ideal for moderate tooth structure loss, but may not be appropriate for heavily worn, previously root canal-treated or fractured teeth. These and other kinds of flaws may require a different solution such as a dental porcelain restoration with veneers or crowns. Where composites can be used, though, they provide an affordable option that doesn't require an outside dental lab for fabrication—we can often perform it in one visit.

If you'd like to consider a composite resin restoration for a less than perfect tooth, see us for a complete examination and consultation. If your situation appears to be compatible for using this particular technique, composite resins could change your smile for the better in just a few minutes.

If you would like more information on how we can improve your smile, 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 “Artistic Repair of Front Teeth with Composite Resin.”


You have a lot of options for replacing missing teeth, from state-of-the-art dental implants to affordable, but effective partial dentures. But if the teeth in question have been missing for a while, you may first have to undergo orthodontic treatment. Here's why.

While they may feel rigid and firm in the jawbone, teeth are actually held in place by periodontal (gum) ligaments. These elastic tissues lie between the teeth and the bone and attach to both with tiny filaments. This mechanism allows the teeth to incrementally move over time in response to biting pressures or other environmental factors.

When a tooth goes missing the teeth on either side of the space naturally move or "drift" into it to help close the gap. This natural occurrence can reduce the space for a restoration if it has gone on for some time. To make room for a new prosthetic (false) tooth, we may have to move the drifted teeth back to where they belong.

If you're thinking metal braces, that is an option—but not the only one. Clear aligners are another way to move teeth if the bite problem (malocclusion) isn't too severe. Aligners are a series of custom-made, clear, plastic trays worn over the teeth. The patient wears each tray, slightly smaller than the previous one in the series, for about two weeks before changing to the next one. The reduction in size gradually moves teeth to their intended target position.

Many adults prefer clear aligners because they're nearly invisible and don't stand out like metal braces. They're removable, so you can take them out for cleaning or for special occasions. And, we can also attach a prosthetic tooth to the tray that temporarily covers the missing tooth space.

Whichever orthodontic treatment you choose, once completed we can then proceed with restoration to permanently replace your missing teeth. While it can be a long process, the end result is a beautiful smile that could last for years to come.

If you would like more information on your dental restoration options, 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 “Straightening a Smile before Replacing Lost Teeth.”

By Mazhar M. Butt, D.M.D.
February 08, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental BondingLittle things mean a lot, including how smiles function and look. If you dislike the appearance of your teeth because of flaws like chips, cracks, gaps, and ragged length, you should take the time to explore an effective cosmetic treatment. Called composite resin bonding, or dental bonding, this one-visit process can transform your teeth into spectacular form! Performed by your dentist in Carbondale, IL, Dr. Mazhar Butt, bonding could be your gateway to a rejuvenated smile.


The background on dental bonding

Dental bonding is a one-visit cosmetic service which uses a unique polymer to resurface and repair teeth marred by unsightly cosmetic defects. Say, for instance, you have a chip on your front tooth. The tooth is healthy, but you feel embarrassed by that chip when you smile.

Here's how bonding can help. Composite resin is a polymer composed of natural-looking glass particles and durable and flexible acrylic. Your Carbondale, IL, dentist applies it in layers, shapes it for a realistic cosmetic result. and hardens the material with a UV light. This resin is also used to repair cavities because the material bonds directly to the tooth, requires less enamel reduction than amalgam fillings, and seamlessly matches natural tooth structure.

You can have that bothersome chip repaired in just one short appointment. Dr. Butt surface-prepares the tooth with sandpaper and a mild etching chemical to ensure a solid bond. Then, he adds and shapes the resin, hardening each layer. A final buffing completes the repair, and you're ready to go with no discomfort and no downtime whatsoever.


The advantages of bonding

The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry praises composite resin bonding for its many patient benefits, including:

  • Budget-friendly cost
  • Versatility, for it remakes a variety of flaws and restores decay
  • Durability and flexibility, as it withstands normal oral functions
  • Transitional properties, meaning resin can be used to remake a tooth while a patient waits for a crown or veneer
  • Complementing or completing more extensive cosmetic and restorative treatments as part of a total smile makeover
  • Realistic color and texture


Just like it never happened
You can say goodbye to your minor smile imperfections by contacting the friendly team at Dr. Mazhar Butt's office. Call (618) 457-2123 today to arrange your cosmetic dentistry consultation—we know you'll be pleased with his expert and kindly care and the results composite resin bonding produces!