Posts for: May, 2017
“To gain something, sometimes you have to give up something else.”
No, that isn't the latest viral meme on the Internet. It's actually a practical consideration that could arise in orthodontics.
In this case, the “something” to gain is a straighter, more attractive smile; the “something” you may have to part with is a few teeth. This may be necessary if there are too many teeth on a dental arch for its capacity, a situation called crowding. A lack of space is the main reason teeth come in misaligned.
Before we can correct this, we'll need to free up space to allow for tooth movement by removing one or more of the existing teeth. The ideal candidates are those that are near to the teeth we wish to move but not highly visible. The first bicuspids are the most frequent choices for removal: they're located behind the cuspids or eyeteeth (the pointed teeth right under the eyes).
Ideally, we'll remove the target teeth some time before we apply braces to give the gums a chance to heal. At the same time we want to preserve the bone that once supported the teeth we've extracted. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulates bone replacement growth. When a tooth is no longer there the supporting bone doesn't receive this stimulation and may ultimately reduce in volume.
We may try to prevent this by placing a bone graft in the empty socket immediately after removing the tooth. The graft serves as a scaffold to encourage new bone to grow. Hopefully when we're ready to apply braces, the bone will be strong and healthy to handle the movement of the teeth.
As the teeth move under the influence of braces, they'll begin to fill up the space created by tooth removal. Once it's completed, the extracted teeth won't be missed — the other teeth now straightened will completely fill out the smile.
The different steps in this process must be carefully planned and executed precisely, and it will take months or even years to complete. In the end, though, this complicated bite problem can be corrected and replaced with an attractive, straight smile.
If you would like more information on correcting a poor bite, 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 “Tooth Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”
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.”
Invisalign is the nearly invisible way to straighten your crooked teeth without the restrictions that come with metal braces. Rather than metal brackets and archwires, the Invisalign system uses a series of clear aligners that have been custom-made for your teeth. Dr. Janette Williams offers Invisalign to provide you with a straighter smile. Read on to find out how Invisalign works to straighten your teeth at her Cincinnati, OH, office.
What are the aligners made of?
Over the course of treatment, you will be given a series of Invisalign aligners. The aligners will be custom-made for you, to move your teeth in the sequence determined by your dentist. Invisalign aligners are made of a thermoplastic material uniquely developed for the treatment plan.
How does Invisalign straighten teeth?
Invisalign aligners straighten teeth through the placement of controlled force on the teeth. When the Invisalign aligners are placed on the teeth, they cause the teeth to gradually move into the desired position. Each aligner will move your teeth slightly, shifting them and rotating them when needed. After a few weeks, you will begin using the next set of Invisalign aligners, which will continue the process.
What are the benefits of Invisalign?
One of the benefits of the Invisalign system is the minimal impact it has on the overall quality of your life. Many individuals love the fact that Invisalign aligners are removable. The aligners are very comfortable to wear, so you will be able to wear them for 22 hours a day without much effort.
How long does treatment take?
The average length of your treatment depends on the severity of your condition and can only be determined by your Invisalign-trained dentist. The average case takes about one year for adults. The length of time necessary for a teenager may vary and can be determined by your dentist.
How do I get started with Invisalign?
You can get started with Invisalign by contacting your Cincinnati, OH dentist and scheduling a consultation. For the best results, choosing an experienced Invisalign-trained dentist can make all the difference. At your first consultation, we will discuss your needs and evaluate whether Invisalign treatment is suitable for you.
Are you ready to take your smile from ordinary to extraordinary? Call Dr. Janette Williams at 513-793-5703 today to schedule your consultation in Cincinnati, OH.