September 9th, 2021
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
One of the most common issues we see in orthodontics is crowded teeth. Have you ever wondered why the teeth are crowded? The simple reason, besides genetics, is there is not enough space because the teeth are too big but the most often cause is the upper and the lower jaws are not big enough to accommodate the teeth. In other words, the jaws are not skeletally wide enough, if that is the case, then in most patients you would want to skeletally widen the jaws to accommodate the crowded teeth. The best time to get stabile skeletal correction with the greatest amount of ease is between 7 and 10 years old. At this age, the bones are malleable and easy to manipulate.
In this issue we show before and after photos of two 8 year olds. Both had the upper and lower jaws expanded. The things to notice are the width increase in the jaws and the natural alignment of the teeth which occurs spontaneously as the jaws are widened. This natural alignment creates stabile healthy teeth and gums, the process takes 8-10 months with 6 months of stabilization.
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July 7th, 2021
HOW DID WE GET HERE
The most common treatment in Orthodontics is for an increased overbite (Class II). It is also the most unpredictable because of the need for increased patient cooperation, (i.e. wearing rubber bands) the above patient had a unilateral Class II which we used braces and a TAD (Temporary Anchorage Device) to correct. The TAD takes the unpredictability out of the treatment because of the patient cooperation and the direct mechanics
Placing a TAD requires topical anesthetics. We can place one in 3 to 5 minutes. TAD’s are the way to go for predictable Class II treatment.
Also, we did some enamelplasty to smooth the rough edges on the upper front teeth (Centrals) and enamel reduction between these teeth to resolve the “black triangle.
April 14th, 2021
Preteens Or Teens With Missing Front Teeth
How did we get here?
Do you have a child with a missing upper front tooth? If you do, this blog will provide useful information to help you decide what to do.
There are 3 options.
1) If there is a baby tooth in the position of the missing tooth, keep it . This is not a long term proposition because the baby tooth will be lost (you’ll be lucky if the tooth last 15 years).
2) Open space for the missing tooth– This is usually the best if you are missing one front tooth, as closing the space for one tooth can create an asymmetry. In the photos below the patient is missing one front tooth. With orthodontics, we created space for the tooth then her dentist placed a Maryland Bridge.
3) Close space for the missing tooth (teeth). This option when possible is the best solution long term as it can alleviate the need for further dental treatment (i.e. the need to replace 2 missing teeth). If handled properly the esthetics of the smile are significantly enhanced. Also you avoid the long term cost for the repeated replacement of the restorations (expect to replace each restoration 4 times over a lifetime). The patient below is a perfect example of this. We closed the space for the two side front teeth and reshaped.
The last example is a patient with a missing front tooth. As I mentioned above, the best results usually involves opening space for the missing tooth because of the asymmetry created but with well planned orthodontics and dental restoration, we were able to develop the esthetics without opening any space.
As you have learned there are options for handling missing front teeth. At our office, we review the possibilities and help you make the right choice for your child.
Let us know how we can help!
April 14th, 2021
10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Teeth
You use your teeth to bite, chew and talk countless times throughout your day. Unless something is bothersome, you probably don’t give your grill a second thought. So, with our compliments, gnaw on this enlightening list of ten things you didn’t know about your teeth – but guess what – your American Association of Orthodontists member orthodontist did!
- A tooth can come into the mouth with a cavity.
- A cavity is one of the few things the body cannot heal. It just gets larger with time, unless a dentist removes the decay and places a filling.
- A tooth can grow in upside down, sideways or backwards.
- Baby teeth hold space for the permanent teeth that follow – it’s important to hang onto them until they’re ready to come out on their own.
- While we’re on the subject of baby teeth, they’re also called “deciduous” teeth – from the Latin word “decidere,” which means to fall off or be shed (like leaves from a deciduous tree).
- Teeth by the numbers: we get two sets of teeth – 20 baby teeth and 32 (usually) permanent teeth – unless you get extra teeth (supernumerary teeth), or some teeth never develop (congenitally missing teeth). Thank your genes for extra or missing teeth.
- Research suggests that some sweet flavors in e-cigarette liquids may increase the risk of getting cavities. (As if nicotine addiction wasn’t enough already.)
- Back teeth are called “molars.” They are used for grinding food when you chew.
- Diet soda and sports drinks can be just as tough on teeth as regular soda. Both contain acid. Acid attacks the enamel surface of your teeth and can lead to cavities. Some bottled waters and flavored bubbly waters can be acidic enough to cause cavities too!
- The part of the tooth you see, the crown, is only about a quarter to a third of the entire tooth. The rest of the tooth is under the gums.
Now that you have mastered these tidbits about teeth, you can amaze your friends and family with your trivial knowledge. But your teeth are anything but trivial. Healthy teeth and gums are critical contributors to your overall good health.