Posts for: March, 2016
It would seem the best time to turn your attention to orthodontic problems with your child is when their permanent teeth have come in around early puberty. In fact, you should be attentive much earlier at around 6 years of age.
Here are 3 reasons why an early orthodontic evaluation could be beneficial to your child’s dental health.
We may be able to detect the first signs of a malocclusion. Also known as a poor bite, it’s possible for an experienced dentist or orthodontist to notice the beginning of a malocclusion as the permanent teeth start coming in between ages 6 and 12. Crowding of teeth, abnormal space between teeth, crooked, protruding or missing teeth are all signs that the teeth are not or will not be coming in properly and some type of treatment will eventually be necessary to correct it.
We might spot problems with jaw or facial development. Not all malocclusions arise from faulty erupting teeth position: sometimes they’re caused by abnormal development of the jaw and facial structure. For example, an orthodontist can detect if the upper jaw is developing too narrowly, which can create a malocclusion known as a cross bite. The difference in the source of a malocclusion will determine what present or future treatment will be needed.
We can perform “interceptive” treatment. While braces won’t typically be undertaken until the permanent teeth have come in, there are other treatments that can “intercept” a growing problem to eliminate or lessen future treatment needs. Orthodontists may recommend appliances that help guide incoming teeth, coax impacted teeth to come in fully or expand portions of the upper jaw to normal dimensions.
As with other areas of health, the earlier orthodontic problems are found the better the chances of a successful and less interventional outcome. By having your child examined orthodontically you may be saving money and future difficulties.
If you would like more information on when to begin monitoring bite development in your child, 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 “Early Orthodontic Evaluation.”
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Replacement options for missing teeth no longer lie in removable dental devices like bridges or dentures. Dental implants are the most permanent and effective way to fill in your gaps. But how do dental implants hold up to more traditional replacement methods? Find out with help from your Augusta, GA dentist Dr. Alan Myers at Myers Family Dental.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants replace both a missing tooth and its root. The root’s replacement comes in the form of a small titanium cylinder called a fixture. Implanted into the jawbone below the gumline of a missing tooth, the fixture integrates into the bone to provide a stable and bone-supported foundation for your new tooth. After successful integration, the implant’s prosthetic tooth, called a crown, permanently attaches to the fixture. Patients who have lost all of the teeth on the upper or lower arch may benefit from implant-supported dentures. These dentures use four strategically placed implants to anchor a denture into place.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
Unlike bridges and dentures, your dental implant keeps your dental restoration in your mouth where it belongs. Dental implants’ non-removable design means you never have to take your implant out to soak or clean it. Simply brush it twice daily and floss once a day along with your natural teeth. Additionally, implants allow you to eat the foods you love without worrying that they will move around or fall out. This avoids potentially embarrassing situations and allows you the confidence you need to look and feel great. When a tooth is missing, the bone underneath lacks stimulation and begins to atrophy. Dental implants provide stimulation of the bone, preventing further complications and keeping the bone healthy.
Am I a good candidate for dental implants?
Great candidates for dental implants must have enough bone left under their missing tooth to support the implant. Dr. Myers can help you determineâ€‹ if you meet this important requirement. A strong at-home oral care routine is necessary to keep your implant and natural teeth healthy and free from tooth decay. See your dentist at least twice a year to ensure your teeth are in the best shape possible.
For more information on dental implants, please contact your dentist Dr. Alan Myers at Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA. Call (706) 738-7742 to speak with an associate about scheduling your consultation for dental implants today!