Posts for: September, 2018
There are good reasons, for both health and appearance, to replace a missing tooth with a dental implant or similar restoration as soon as is practical. The bone around a tooth socket diminishes the longer it remains empty, up to 25% the first year. And, of course, your smile is less attractive, especially with a highly visible tooth.
If it’s your teenager, though, you may need to wait on a permanent restoration because their jaws are still developing. An implant placed before completion of jaw development could eventually appear out of alignment with neighboring teeth.
Our biggest concern is protecting bone health at the site of the missing tooth. We can do this and encourage growth by placing bone grafts (processed minerals from another donor) that serve as scaffolds on which surrounding bone can grow. Grafts usually dissolve (resorb) over time, but the rate of resorption can be slowed for a younger patient in need of long-term bone growth.
Planned orthodontic treatment can usually go on as scheduled. The orthodontist may accommodate the tooth loss by adding a temporary tooth within the braces or other device that matches the color and shape of the patient’s natural teeth. The orthodontist will also take care to maintain the empty space for a future implant or other restoration.
A dental implant is considered the best option for a missing tooth, not only for its life-like appearance and durability, but also its ability to encourage bone maintenance. Timing, though, is essential for teenagers. As it grows, the upper jaw will tend to move forward and down. Natural teeth move with this growth; implants, though, are attached differently and won’t move with the jawbone. While the other teeth around them move, the implants can appear to shrink back resulting in an unattractive smile appearance. So waiting until the jaw has finished growing is important.
For most people, jaw growth finishes by age twenty-one for men, women usually faster, but each person is different. The dentist’s expertise and experience, coupled with comparisons of adult family members’ facial appearances, will help determine the right time to undertake a permanent restoration for the best outcome both for health and a permanent, attractive smile.
If you would like more information on treating teenagers with missing teeth, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Implants for Teenagers.”
Learn more about CEREC restorations and how they can restore your smile.
Are you dealing with a cracked or damaged tooth? If so, our Peachtree City, GA, dentist Dr. James Reid Roberts may have recommended getting a dental crown. Of course, we understand that our patients lead busy lives and that it isn’t always easy to come into the office for multiple visits; however, thorough dental care is paramount to maintaining a healthy smile. Luckily, we have found a new way to get patients the dental crown that they need in just one office visit.
It might sound too good to be true, but thanks to the continued advancements in dental technology, Brilliant Smiles Dental is now able to provide its patients with a traditional and reliable dental crown without having to come in more than once to have the tooth prepped and shaped, impressions taken and the crown fitted. Now, all of these steps can happen in just one appointment.
How? Well, you can thank CEREC technology for that. In the past, if our Peachtree City, GA, cosmetic dentist wanted to make a dental crown we had to turn to an outside dental lab to fabricate the crown based on the molds we took of your smile. Not anymore. With this specialized CAD/CAM technology it’s now possible for us to become the dental lab, too.
What can I expect when I get a CEREC crown?
Once your tooth has been prepared to make room for the crown, we will take impressions of the tooth so that we can get the exact measurements we need to make a crown that offers the ideal fit. In the past, we had to apply a putty-like material to the teeth, which could be a bit awkward and messy. Now, CEREC technology allows us to use a small digital camera to quickly snap images of your teeth. These measurements are even more precise than the traditional impressions.
Next, the images are uploaded onto the computer, where CAD software generates these photos into 3D images of your mouth. From there, the software will guide us so that we create the perfect crown. Once this is complete, we will turn to the CAM technology and milling station to read these measurements and images and start fabricating your crown. Before the milling station can begin, we will choose a block of porcelain that matches the natural shade of your teeth. From there, we will then let the milling machine get to work chiseling out your new restoration.
Once complete, we will check the fit of the crown, as well as the alignment of your bite, to make sure that everything looks good before cementing the crown permanently in place. It’s quick, easy and in just an hour or two, you could walk out of our office with a fully restored smile.
If you want to find out if CEREC crowns are right for restoring or cosmetically enhancing your smile, then it’s the perfect time to call Brilliant Smiles Dental in Peachtree City, GA, today.
Other than the common cold, tooth decay is the most prevalent disease in the world. And while a cavity or two may seem like a minor matter, tooth decay’s full destructive potential is anything but trivial. Without proper prevention and treatment, tooth decay can cause pain, tooth loss and, in rare cases, even death.
This common disease begins with bacteria in the mouth. Though these microscopic organisms’ presence is completely normal and at times beneficial, certain strains cause problems: they consume left over carbohydrates in the mouth like sugar and produce acid as a byproduct. The higher the levels of bacteria the higher the amount of acid, which disrupts the mouth’s normal neutral pH.
This is a problem because acid is the primary enemy of enamel, the teeth’s hard protective outer shell. Acid causes enamel to lose its mineral content (de-mineralization), eventually producing cavities. Saliva neutralizes acid that arises normally after we eat, but if the levels are too high for too long this process can be overwhelmed. The longer the enamel is exposed to acid, the more it softens and dissolves.
While tooth decay is a global epidemic, dental advances of the last century have made it highly preventable. The foundation for prevention is fluoride in toothpaste and effective oral hygiene — daily brushing and flossing to removing plaque, a thin film of food remnant on teeth that’s a feeding ground for bacteria, along with regular dental visits for more thorough cleaning and examination. This regular regimen should begin in infancy when teeth first appear in the mouth. For children especially, further prevention measures in the form of sealants or topical fluoride applications performed in the dentist office can provide added protection for those at higher risk.
You can also help your preventive measures by limiting sugar or other carbohydrates in your family’s diet, and eating more fresh vegetables, fruit and dairy products, especially as snacks. Doing so reduces food sources for bacteria, which will lower their multiplication and subsequently the amount of acid produced.
In this day and age, tooth decay isn’t a given. Keeping it at bay, though, requires a personal commitment to effective hygiene, lifestyle choices and regular dental care. Doing these things will help ensure you and your family’s teeth remain free from this all too common disease.
If you would like more information on preventing and treating tooth decay, 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 Decay.”