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As We Begin 2021...

January 13th, 2021

As we begin 2021, I wanted to express our gratitude for the trust and confidence all of you have shown to our office. You can continue to be confident we are maintaining the high standards of infection control recommended by OSHA and the CDC. My hope, like everyone else is the vaccine proves to be a long term effective method of containing COVID. We are ready to put this in the rear view mirror!

One of the many joys of my practice over the years has been being able to get to know the families we treat. Often mom or dad would come back in the treatment area with their child accompanied by brother or sister. We would have nice conversations. I miss those!

I resolved to pen this letter to let everyone know what I’ve been up to. Last March when we closed the practice for 7 weeks, my wife Tricia and I decided to quarantine at our farm in West Point, Georgia. Our farm is in good shape but needs an assortment of projects accomplished to bring it to the level we hope for. One of the projects on our list was a stone wall between the house and the lighthouse. I decided this was something I could do with the help of our children who would be coming and going from the farm. I thought, this can’t be that difficult? We have an abundance of natural field stone on the property and how hard can it be to stack? Well, little did I know that the project I thought would take only 2 weeks tooth 7 full weeks and over 100 bags of hand mixed concrete! That will be my one and only stone wall project.

At the end of 2019, I had my left hip replaced and 2020 my right. I’m bionic now. I guess my football days caught up with me since no one else in my family has any hip degeneration. The process is straight forward in at 6:00 am, surgery 8:30 walk out at 12:00! I am so thankful we have the opportunity to do this and return to earlier days with no hip pain!

Our family is doing great and it has been nice since two of our children who live in New York City have been able to work remotely so have come home often. We’re all becoming farmers as we have a garden and fruit trees to tend.

I hope all your family is doing well and 2021 is your best year ever!

Do I have to get my wisdom teeth removed after Orthodontic treatment?

November 19th, 2020

Do I have to get my wisdom teeth removed after Orthodontic treatment?

The quick answer is maybe, not all patients’ need them removed but some do, the Orthodontist or your Dentist will help you make that decision at the appropriate time.

There used to be a misconception that all wisdom teeth had to be removed after orthodontic treatment because if they weren’t, the teeth would move/relapse. Well, we now know that wisdom teeth do not cause the other teeth to move. There have been many excellent studies which show that whether you have wisdom teeth or not the teeth can move. The best way to assure they don’t is to wear your retainers or if you have a fixed retainer keep it! Just like you brush and hopefully floss your teeth daily to keep your teeth healthy, if you want to keep your teeth straight then 2 to 3 times a week wear your retainer at night.

The reason for wisdom teeth removal includes:

  • Second molar health- These are the teeth in front of the wisdom teeth which have loss of bone support due to wisdom teeth. These second molars can even be lost due to resorption of roots and or bone loss by wisdom teeth.

 

  • Infections/Inflammation of the wisdom teeth which can end up causing emergency surgery to remove these and loss of bone in the back of the jaw.

 

 

  • Cysts/Tumors- In rare circumstances these can develop form the wisdom teeth

 

  • Halitosis (bad breath)- can develop as a result of inflammation around wisdom teeth

 

  • Cavities- yes, wisdom teeth can develop cavities because a lot of the time they are not accessible to be cleaned properly. If you can’t keep them clean, they need to be removed.

 

  • Poor alignment- if the wisdom teeth come in (erupt) in a poor position so that they won’t be in a position to help with chewing and you aren’t missing the second or first molars then removal is indicated. The reason you would keep the wisdom teeth in the case of missing other molars is sometimes wisdom teeth can be moved to substitute for them thus improving the ability to chew.

 

Now, if you have enough space for your wisdom teeth, they are aligned and can be kept clean then keep them.

When is the best time to remove wisdom teeth?

The best time is when the roots are about ½ formed. It is easier to remove these teeth then and there is less chance of having post removal complications like infections, numbness and root fractures. The age range for boys is 16-18y.o. and girls 14-17y.o. It’s not that you can’t remove these at other times, it’s just easier then. Sometimes they have to be removed earlier than this due to their impeding the coming in (eruption) of the second molars.

I hope this helps your understanding of wisdom teeth. Maybe we’ve improved your wisdom!

Are young children self-conscious about their teeth?

October 8th, 2020

Are young children self-conscious about their teeth?

            The answer is a resounding YES! They may not say they are but if they have crooked teeth or teeth that protrude, new research shows they are self-conscious about it. This research specifically states that they feel less confident about themselves when around others. The study was done on 9 yr. olds who had straight teeth and compared them to those who did not.

            So if your child has crooked or protruded teeth and you’re “on the fence” about having them straightened, add improved self-confidence to the list of better oral health as a reason to proceed.

What does a great smile do for a teenager?

September 17th, 2020

What does a great smile do for a teenager?

As parents, you often wonder if it’s worth it to straighten your child’s teeth. New research has uncovered 3 main themes from interviewing teens post orthodontic treatment:

  1. Improved health related behavioral changes- as an example; teens felt it was easier to maintain good oral hygiene (keep their teeth clean!)
  2. Improved dental health- teens felt their smile was more attractive and it was easier to chew and clean their teeth
  3. Improved psycho-social effects- teens felt they had improved self-confidence and self-esteem

When you place a value on a great smile, I think these extremely positive benefits as seen through the eyes of teenagers, will increase your support of and confidence in, your decision to have them undergo Orthodontic treatment.