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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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!