Posts for: May, 2017
If we could go back in time, we all probably have a few things we wish we could change. Recently, Dr. Travis Stork, emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors, shared one of his do-over dreams with Dear Doctor magazine: “If I [could have] gone back and told myself as a teenager what to do, I would have worn a mouthguard, not only to protect my teeth but also to help potentially reduce risk of concussion.”
What prompted this wish? The fact that as a teenage basketball player, Stork received an elbow to the mouth that caused his two front teeth to be knocked out of place. The teeth were put back in position, but they soon became darker and began to hurt. Eventually, both were successfully restored with dental crowns. Still, it was a painful (and costly) injury — and one that could have been avoided.
You might not realize it, but when it comes to dental injuries, basketball ranks among the riskier sports. Yet it’s far from the only one. In fact, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are some two dozen others — including baseball, hockey, surfing and bicycling — that carry a heightened risk of dental injury. Whenever you’re playing those sports, the ADA recommends you wear a high-quality mouth guard.
Mouthguards have come a long way since they were introduced as protective equipment for boxers in the early 1900’s. Today, three different types are widely available: stock “off-the-shelf” types that come in just a few sizes; mouth-formed “boil-and-bite” types that you adapt to the general contours of your mouth; and custom-made high-quality mouthguards that are made just for you at the dental office.
Of all three types, the dentist-made mouthguards are consistently found to be the most comfortable and best-fitting, and the ones that offer your teeth the greatest protection. What’s more, recent studies suggest that custom-fabricated mouthguards can provide an additional defense against concussion — in fact, they are twice as effective as the other types. That’s why you’ll see more and more professional athletes (and plenty of amateurs as well) sporting custom-made mouthguards at games and practices.
“I would have saved myself a lot of dental heartache if I had worn a mouthguard,” noted Dr. Stork. So take his advice: Wear a mouthguard whenever you play sports — unless you’d like to meet him (or one of his medical colleagues) in a professional capacity…
Just because you have cosmetic imperfections doesn’t mean you have to have a less-than-perfect smile.
You’ve been dreaming of improving and enhancing your smile for as long as you remember. You hate that others may notice discolorations, chips, cracks and other flaws that keep you from the even, attractive smile you know you deserve. If this is the case, your Augusta dentist at Myers Family Dental, Dr. Alan Myers, would love to tell you about porcelain veneers.
What can dental veneers do?
Most people think of veneers and think of them in much the same way they do dental crowns. After all, both hide a plethora of dental issues. Of course, veneers are a great alternative to crowns if the tooth is strong but just requires a cosmetic makeover. Dental veneers are bonded to only the front portion of a tooth but even just covering the front of it is enough to hide a wide range of aesthetic flaws such as:
- Worn-down teeth
- Chipped, broken teeth
- Misaligned or poorly shaped teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Discolored teeth
If you are dealing with any of these problems and are desperate to find a cosmetic treatment that will give you back the smile you want, then getting dental veneers could easily do just that and so much more for your appearance.
How do I get dental veneers?
In order to get dental veneers in our Augusta office, you will need to come in a couple times in order to get your new restorations. The first visit is just a consultation where we will examine your teeth and gums to make sure that teeth are healthy enough to support veneers. We will also ensure that your treatment goals align with what our veneers can offer you.
The next visit requires a little tooth preparation. Don’t worry; this doesn’t hurt. Unlike dental crowns, which require extensive tooth preparation, in order to get veneers we only have to remove a small bit of enamel from the front of your teeth. After the tooth preparation, we will also take impressions of your teeth so that the lab has the proper measurements from which to create your veneers.
You’ll have to wait up to a week for the dental lab to create your veneers and send them to us. Once this happens, your third and final visit will involve bonding the restorations to your teeth and making sure they fit just right.
Are you ready to find out if your smile could be ideal for veneers? If so, then it’s the perfect time to turn to Myers Family Dental in Augusta, GA, to learn more. We would be happy to sit down with you and determine if veneers are the right choice for you.
A child with a chronic illness or condition often requires a lot of focus on care for their special needs. Other aspects of their health can often take a back seat — too often including dental care.
Proper dental care can be a challenge for special needs children if they have diminished physical, intellectual or behavioral capacities. Children with autism or attention deficit disorders may not be able or willing to perform tasks like brushing and flossing. Other conditions could make them intolerant to toothpaste in the mouth, or create an inability to keep their mouths open or to spit.
Some chronic conditions also seem predisposed to dental defects. For example, enamel hypoplasia, a lack of sufficient tooth enamel, is common with Down, Treacher-Collins or Turner Syndromes, and can greatly increase the risk of tooth decay.
But even though difficult, effective dental care isn't impossible. It begins with your dental provider.
Pediatric dentists are often excellent in this regard: they often have the training and experience to treat children with chronic conditions. Whoever you choose must be able to partner with you in caring for your child's dental needs.
Daily hygiene is also a critical factor. Your goal should be the same as with any child — to teach them to brush and floss for themselves. Depending on their condition, however, you may need to assist them for a longer term, perhaps permanently. But it is imperative — daily hygiene is their best defense against oral diseases.
You should also consider their medication and how it may impact their dental health. Antidepressants, antihistamines or drugs that assist with breathing function can cause mouth dryness. This, as well as drugs with sugar or acid compounds, can increase risk for dental disease. If they must take these types of medications, try to give them at mealtime to reduce their effect in the mouth.
Above all, pursue the same professional dental care as you would for any other child. Keep up regular dental visits beginning around their first birthday for cleanings and preventive measures like topical fluoride or sealants. By taking these measures you'll help ensure their dental health won't suffer.
If you would like more information on dental care for special needs children, 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 “Managing Tooth Decay in Children with Chronic Diseases.”