Posts for: July, 2015
Discover how you can fix crooked teeth and dental malocclusions invisibly.
Who doesn’t want a straight, perfect smile? It might sound like a silly question, but many of us may want to hide crookedness or spaces between teeth but feel that we are too old to be sporting metal braces. Luckily, your Rockwall, TX dentist Dr. Ronald Stewart is able to offer older teen and adult patients the option to get the smile they always wanted without people noticing! Find out more about Invisalign, and how it could give you the perfect smile.
Tell Me About Invisalign…
Invisalign is a series of clear plastic aligners that are custom-designed specifically to address your unique dental issues. These aligners look similar to teeth whitening trays and can be removed when you need to brush your teeth or sit down to eat. Each aligner is designed by an Invisalign lab to move certain teeth in a specified sequence, as determined by your Rockwall, TX dentist.
Straightening Teeth With Invisalign
Each aligner applies a specific amount of physiological force to certain teeth to move them in the proper position. While traditional braces are used to pull the teeth into the proper direction, aligners work by pushing them. While the pull of traditional braces may get better results for certain patients, Invisalign offer boasts the best results for many dental cases because the aligners actually come in contact with more teeth.
When your wear Invisalign, the flexibility of the plastic aligners is what generates the force needed to move your teeth. Each aligner can only move teeth a predetermined amount, so the further your teeth need to move, the more trays you will require. Each aligner is only worn for about two weeks, after which it is discarded and replaced with the next set in your treatment plan.
Patients are responsible for how their smiles progress by making sure they wear their Invisalign aligners all the time, only removing them to eat, drink, brush and floss. This means that aligners should be worn for a minimum of 22 hours out of the day.
Want to know if you are the ideal candidate for Invisalign? Then there has never been a better time to schedule a consultation with your Rockwall, TX dentist. Call the office of Stewart Dental and book your next appointment with us!
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”
After months of wearing braces, the big day has arrived — they’re finally off! Your teeth have been realigned and your smile is dazzling. You’re finished with orthodontic treatment, right?
Not quite — because if you want to keep your new smile you have one more treatment phase to go — wearing a retainer. Without this phase there’s a distinct possibility you could lose all the time, effort and expense of braces because your teeth could revert to their previous position.
To understand why, we have to consider how teeth can move in the first place. Although it may seem like your teeth are rigidly fastened to the jawbone, they’re actually held in place by the periodontal ligament, a strong, elastic gum tissue that lies between the teeth and the bone. Tiny fibers from the ligament attach to the teeth on one side and to the bone in a similar manner on the other side.
When pressure is applied to the tooth as happens with braces, the bone around the side of the tooth in the direction of the force will begin to dissolve (resorb), allowing the tooth to move in that direction. New bone will then build up on the other side to stabilize the tooth. Once the pressure is removed (when we take the braces off), there’s a tendency for the teeth, bone and gums to “remember” the old position and try to revert back.
The answer is a removable mouth appliance known as a retainer. Custom-designed to fit the teeth’s new position, the retainer helps hold the teeth in place until the bone completely sets around them. In the beginning, you may need to wear the retainer around the clock and then later only at night while you sleep. While you may only need to wear it for a few months (especially if you’re an adolescent or young adult) some patients may need to wear some form of retainer indefinitely. Your orthodontist will advise you how long depending on your individual situation.
While retainers may seem like an inconvenience, they’re extremely important for keeping or “retaining” the teeth in their new and better position. Following through on this important phase of treatment will help ensure you’ll keep your new smile for a long time to come.
If you would like more information on retainers, 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 “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”