Posts for category: Dental Procedures
While orthodontists can effectively correct most poor bites (malocclusions), some can be quite complex requiring much time and expense. But there's good news—we often don't have to wait on a malocclusion to fully develop if we catch it in time. Thanks to interceptive orthodontics, we may be able to intervene much earlier and eliminate or reduce the degree of difficulty with treatment.
Interceptive orthodontics is a group of techniques and devices used in early childhood to help deter a possible malocclusion. Here are 3 ways this approach could make a difference in your child's bite development.
Guiding jaw growth. On a normal-sized upper jaw, the permanent teeth usually have ample room to erupt. Not so with a smaller jaw: incoming teeth become crowded and may erupt out of alignment or too close to each other. Orthodontists often use a device called a palatal expander to aid an under-sized jaw in its development. The device fits along the roof of the mouth between the teeth and applies gradual outward pressure on them. This encourages the jaw to widen as it grows, thus providing more room for erupting teeth to come in properly and decrease the chances of obstructive sleep apnea in the future.
Reshaping and repositioning jaw bones. An overbite can occur when the jaws aren't properly aligned, often due to poor muscle and bone development. This is where devices like the Herbst appliance are useful. Its hinge mechanism encourages the lower jaw to grow further forward. The jaws can thus develop in a more normal way, minimizing the development of a malocclusion.
Maintaining space. Primary ("baby") teeth are important for dental development because they help guide future permanent teeth to erupt properly; they also keep nearby teeth from drifting into the intended space. But when a primary tooth is lost prematurely due to disease or trauma, the space can become vulnerable to this kind of "drift." With a simple mechanism called a space maintainer we can hold open the space created by a prematurely lost primary tooth until the permanent tooth is ready to erupt.
These and other techniques can help stop bad bites from developing in young children, minimizing or even eliminating the need for future orthodontic treatment. That means a healthier mouth for your child and less impact on your wallet.
If you would like more information on interceptive orthodontics, 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 “Interceptive Orthodontics: Timely Intervention can make Treatment Easier.”
Dental implant technology has advanced at such an astounding rate in recent years that you can now walk into a dentist's office with a problem tooth and out the same day with a new one. Unfortunately, not all dental situations allow for this possibility.
For example, you might be considering an implant many years after losing a tooth. But there's a potential problem: there might not be enough supporting bone. While an implant might still be possible, inadequate bone complicates the matter.
Because implants are essentially tooth root replacements, they require a certain amount of bone for stability and the best attractive outcome. As a general rule, implants need to be surrounded by at least 1.5-2.0 millimeters of healthy bone to support an implant. But you might not have enough if your tooth has been missing for awhile, regardless if you have or haven't worn dentures or other restorations.
That's because bone has a life cycle in which older cells die and newer ones form to take their place. As we chew or bite, the force generated travels up through the teeth to the bone to stimulate this new growth. Without a tooth the bone doesn't receive this stimulus, which can slow the growth rate. Over time the affected bone can lose its volume and density.
If we find you've experienced loss to the point your bone won't support an implant, that doesn't automatically mean this popular restoration is out of the picture. But it will require us first performing a procedure known as augmentation or bone grafting to help rejuvenate some of the lost bone.
With grafting, we place processed bone grafting material in the jaw through a minor surgical procedure to form a scaffold for new bone to grow upon. After several months this can result in several millimeters of new growth maintaining the width of the underlying bone, which in turn may be able to support an implant.
Bone grafting is quite common, often performed at the same time as tooth extraction if there's going to be a time lag before installing an implant. Even if performed later, though, it can successfully rejuvenate lost bone and make it possible for you to take advantage of durable, life-like implants.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants after Previous Tooth Loss.”
Damaged and missing teeth compromise personal appearance and oral function. Fortunately, the professional team at Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA, has customized solutions to strengthen and complete smiles. They offer both E-Max ceramic and zirconia crowns to restore decayed and cracked teeth. Also, they deliver durable and lifelike bridgework to span smile gaps. Read on to learn how Drs. Alan and Eliza Myers keep smiles bright and functional.
What is a dental crown?
Your smile goes through a lot. You and your dentist work hard to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss; yet sometimes, the damage is inevitable. That's where dental crowns come in.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover made of realistic porcelain, a material known for its strength and beauty. In particular, the dentists at Myers Family Dental in Augusta place E-Max or zirconia crowns which are renowned for their exceptional durability and lifelike texture and color.
To place a crown, we must first remove any old filling material and cracked enamel. Then, the dentist shapes the tooth so that it can accept this above-the-gum-line restoration. Oral impressions and X-rays give the dental lab specifics on shape and color. When the crown is ready, the restoration is adjusted as needed and bonded in place with a strong adhesive.
Crowns can extend the life of an ailing tooth indefinitely. They avoid needless extractions and keep adjoining teeth in place. Typically, a crown lasts about ten years, but with good care, your E-Max or zirconia restoration could serve you even longer.
In addition, crowns complete root canal therapy, restore dental implants and also anchor fixed bridgework. In short, dental crowns are versatile and highly successful restorations.
What is fixed bridgework?
A dental bridge does what its name implies—it bridges, or spans, a gap created by missing teeth, one or more in a row. Composed of pontic (ie artificial teeth) anchored to an adjoining abutment or any natural teeth with crowns, fixed bridgework supplies excellent smile aesthetics and restores the natural functionality of biting and chewing.
Just as with a single crown procedure, Dr. Myers must take X-rays and oral impressions to formulate instructions for the dental lab. The dentist also prepares the supporting teeth to receive their crowns. When ready, bridgework is cemented in place and adjusted for proper bite.
Crowns and fixed bridgework both require diligent brushing and flossing to keep the crown margins free of toxic plaque and tartar which lead to decay and gum disease. Semi-annual cleanings and check-ups are also highly recommended.
A complete smile
Who wouldn't want that? If you're missing teeth or have a tooth weakened by decay, injury, or other circumstance—don't wait. Come to Myers Family Dental for a crown or bridgework consultation. We know you'll be pleased with the results. Call today for your appointment: (706) 738-7742.
That toothache is trying to tell you something. Isn’t it time you listened?
Ouch! Your tooth hurts. What could be going on? Why might your tooth be causing you pain and will it just go away on its own? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Dental pain is often the sign that something is wrong with the tooth. While in some cases it might mean you have a cavity other times dentists Dr. Alan Myers and Dr. Eliza Myers at Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA may discover that the dental pulp, an internal soft structure made up of nerves, is inflamed or infected. This means that root canal treatment will be necessary to remove the affected pulp.
What are the warning signs that might mean I need a root canal?
While you should never try and self-diagnose, it is important to understand the warning signs that require you to visit your dentist for care. The most common sign that you need a root canal is dental pain. Dental pain can manifest itself in different ways. Pain may be persistent or it may come and go. Pain may also get worse when chewing or biting down on the tooth.
Another symptom that’s common for those dealing with an inflamed or infected dental pulp is sudden tooth sensitivity. You may notice that out of the blue your tooth zaps or zings whenever you drink or eat something hot or cold. This may also occur when eating sugar.
Other warning signs include:
- Red, swollen gums around the affected tooth
- Persistent bad breath
- An abscess (a pimple-like bump) on the gums
It’s important that you come in right away if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If in doubt, give us a call and let us know what symptoms you are experiencing and we’ll decide whether you should come in immediately for care.
What is the purpose of a root canal?
The sole purpose of root canal therapy is to remove the infected dental pulp and to clean out the tooth and remove the bacteria to prevent it from spreading to surrounding teeth or even the jawbone, which can cause more serious complications for your oral health. A root canal is a required procedure if you have an infected or inflamed dental pulp. If left untreated, the infection or bacteria will continue to spread, leading to tooth and bone loss. A root canal can preserve your natural tooth and prevent the need for an extraction.
Don’t let your toothache go ignored. If this is something you or a loved one is experiencing it’s important that you call Dr. Alan or Eliza Myers, at Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA, to schedule an appointment. Call (706) 738-7742.
While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.
“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.
Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.
Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).
For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.
Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.
If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”