Posts for: March, 2018
As a new permanent tooth develops, the roots undergo a process of breakdown and growth. As older cells dissolve (a process called resorption), they’re replaced by newer cells laid down (deposition) as the jaw develops. Once the jaw development ends in early adulthood, root resorption normally stops. It’s a concern, then, if it continues.
Abnormal root resorption most often begins outside of the tooth and works its way in, beginning usually around the neck-like (or cervical) region of the tooth. Also known as external cervical resorption (ECR), the condition usually shows first as pink spots where the enamel is being undermined. As these spots continue to erode, they develop into cavity-like areas.
While its causes haven’t been fully confirmed, ECR has been linked to excessive pressure on teeth during orthodontic treatment, periodontal ligament trauma, teeth-grinding or other excessive force habits, and bleaching techniques performed inside a tooth. Fortunately, ECR is a rare occurrence, and most people who’ve had these problems won’t experience it.
When it does occur, though, it must be treated as quickly as possible because the damage can progress swiftly. Treatment depends on the size and location of the resorption: a small site can often be treated by surgically accessing the tooth through the gum tissue and removing the offending tissue cells. This is often followed with tooth-colored dental material that’s bonded to the tooth to replace lost structure.
A root canal treatment may be necessary if the damage has extended to the pulp, the tooth’s interior. However, there’s a point where the resorption becomes too extensive to save the tooth. In these cases, it may be necessary to remove the tooth and replace it with a dental implant or similar tooth restoration.
In its early stages, ECR may be difficult to detect, and even in cases where it’s been diagnosed more advanced diagnostics like a CBCT scanner may be needed to gauge the extent of damage. In any case, it’s important that you have your teeth examined on a regular basis, at least twice a year. In the rare chance you’ve developed ECR, the quicker it’s found and treatment begun, the better your chances of preserving the tooth.
Dentists use orthodontic treatments to move teeth that are out of place, causing gaps, crowding, and bite problems. For many years, the only treatment was metal or ceramic braces. But traditional braces are not the only option anymore. Dr. James Roberts at Brilliant Smiles Dental in Peachtree City, GA can straighten your smile discreetly and quickly with Invisalign invisible braces.
Crooked, Crowded, Misaligned Smiles
Some people inherit orthodontic problems while others develop them in their teens. Many patients have crooked or crowded smiles due to forces that move the teeth out of alignment over a period of time. For example, when wisdom teeth emerge, sometimes they cause the rest of the teeth to move forward. With a custom orthodontic treatment plan, the teeth can be re-positioned along the gumline.
How to Straighten Your Teeth Discreetly
Many patients assume that their orthodontic issues can only be solved using metal braces, but a treatment called Invisalign may be a better choice for your case. Invisalign allows your Peachtree City, GA dentist to move your teeth discreetly using clear plastic trays instead of tightened brackets. They not only have a “barely there” appearance, they are also comfortable to wear as they gradually align your teeth.
Additional Invisalign Benefits
Patients often want Invisalign because it is a discreet smile solution, but the treatment has additional benefits:
- You can remove your aligner trays when it’s convenient. Metal braces can only be removed by your dentist.
- Invisalign trays protect your teeth from damage, especially if you are prone to grinding your teeth at night.
- The treatment period for Invisalign is often less than 12 months. Compare that to the two to three years usually required for regular braces.
- Appointments with your dentist are short and sweet—your dentist will check your progress and give you the next aligner tray.
Go with the Discreet Choice
If you've been living with a misaligned smile and want to avoid wearing metal braces, it's time to consult a dentist at Brilliant Smiles Dental in Peachtree City, GA about Invisalign. Call 770-486-8516 today to speak with a friendly staff member and schedule a consultation with Dr. James Roberts.
You may think an office cleaning is mainly cosmetic — giving your teeth that polished look and you that pleasant, “squeaky clean” feeling. But your dental hygienist is doing more than making your teeth look great during your cleaning session — they’re also providing a valuable service keeping your teeth and gums healthy.
Here, then, are 3 things your dental hygienist is doing during a cleaning session that protects your health.
Removing disease-causing plaque. An office cleaning produces more than a fresh and clean smile. Your hygienist is manually removing plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) in hard to reach places or where it has built up despite your best efforts at brushing and flossing. This built-up plaque is a ready source of bacteria producing acids, which give rise to both tooth decay and gum disease. And for actual occurrences of the latter, plaque removal is an important part of the treatment to restore your gums to a healthy pink.
Checking for signs of dental disease. As your hygienist cleans your teeth, they’re also looking for abnormalities in the mouth’s soft tissue — lumps, bumps, sores, or swelling — that may indicate something more serious requiring further examination. They’re also assessing your overall gum health, probing any areas that might indicate gum disease. And, of course, they’re looking for cavities, softened enamel or other signs of tooth decay.
Helping you improve your oral hygiene.Â As proficient as they are, a dental hygienist can only do so much to help prevent dental disease; the rest — daily brushing and flossing — is on your shoulders. But you’re not completely on your own, because your hygienist is your best personal hygiene training partner: not only can they assess how well you’re doing in your daily regimen, but they can also give you expert advice and tips on improving your brushing and flossing performance.
If you would like more information on the role of your hygienist in your dental care, 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 Hygiene Visit.”