Posts for: March, 2018
“To gain something, sometimes you have to give up something else.”
No, that isn't the latest viral meme on the Internet. It's actually a practical consideration that could arise in orthodontics.
In this case, the “something” to gain is a straighter, more attractive smile; the “something” you may have to part with is a few teeth. This may be necessary if there are too many teeth on a dental arch for its capacity, a situation called crowding. A lack of space is the main reason teeth come in misaligned.
Before we can correct this, we'll need to free up space to allow for tooth movement by removing one or more of the existing teeth. The ideal candidates are those that are near to the teeth we wish to move but not highly visible. The first bicuspids are the most frequent choices for removal: they're located behind the cuspids or eyeteeth (the pointed teeth right under the eyes).
Ideally, we'll remove the target teeth some time before we apply braces to give the gums a chance to heal. At the same time we want to preserve the bone that once supported the teeth we've extracted. This is because when we chew the forces generated by the teeth stimulates bone replacement growth. When a tooth is no longer there the supporting bone doesn't receive this stimulation and may ultimately reduce in volume.
We may try to prevent this by placing a bone graft in the empty socket immediately after removing the tooth. The graft serves as a scaffold to encourage new bone to grow. Hopefully when we're ready to apply braces, the bone will be strong and healthy to handle the movement of the teeth.
As the teeth move under the influence of braces, they'll begin to fill up the space created by tooth removal. Once it's completed, the extracted teeth won't be missed — the other teeth now straightened will completely fill out the smile.
The different steps in this process must be carefully planned and executed precisely, and it will take months or even years to complete. In the end, though, this complicated bite problem can be corrected and replaced with an attractive, straight smile.
If you would like more information on correcting a poor bite, 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 Removal for Orthodontic Reasons.”
One of the most important revolutions in healthcare in recent decades is the increasing use of lasers. Now, laser technology is making a showing in dental care for the treatment of periodontal (gum) disease.
Lasers (an acronym for "Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation") narrowly focus and amplify light within a small area. First developed in the early 1960s, laser technology rapidly advanced in the ensuing decades with more compact and precise devices that were eventually safe and effective for many types of medical procedures. Its remarkable features are now available for the primary focus of gum disease treatment—removing bacterial plaque.
Plaque is a thin, built-up film of bacteria and food particles on tooth and gum surfaces that serves as a haven for the bacteria that cause gum disease. The continuing presence of plaque and calculus (tartar) enables the infection to thrive and advance within the gum tissues, ultimately damaging them along with supporting bone. As the tissues weaken and bone volume diminishes, the teeth are at greater risk for loss.
It's necessary, therefore, first and foremost to remove all detectable plaque and calculus to stop the infection. This is traditionally done with special hand tools called scalers used to manually remove plaque, or with ultrasonic equipment that vibrates plaque loose to be flushed away with water. These procedures can take numerous sessions and may result in some minor post-procedural discomfort and bleeding during the cleaning.
But lasers specifically designed for plaque removal can minimize tissue damage and resulting discomfort. Because the particular laser light used reacts only with plaque and diseased tissue, it can remove them without disturbing nearby healthy tissue usually more efficiently than traditional scaling. Dentists who've used the technology frequently report less bleeding and higher patient satisfaction.
But before lasers for gum disease treatment are widely adopted, the procedure must undergo further scrutiny. Reports from dentists notwithstanding, not enough research studies have been performed to date that meet the necessary scientific criteria. But if the evidence so far from the field holds up, it's quite possible lasers will one day become a regular part of dental practice for treating gum disease.
If you would like more information on treating gum disease, 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 “Lasers Versus Traditional Cleanings for Treating Gum Disease.”
Find out how we could make your next dental visit a relaxing and stress-free experience.
Does the idea of coming in for a routine dental cleaning give you the chills? Does your smile desperately need dental care but you’re too scared to visit the dentist? These fears are all too real for many people. If you are someone dealing with some degree of dental anxiety, do not worry. Our Cedar Park, TX, family dentist, Dr. Jason Dyson, is here to tell you how sedation dentistry could help you.
Whether you need to undergo root canal therapy, you want to get dental veneers to improve your smile or you just need to get your teeth cleaned, we know that visiting the dentist can sometimes be a little inconvenient. But for others, it can be downright scary. If the latter sounds like you, then sedation dentistry could ease your nerves during your next dental procedure.
Sedation dentistry provides our patients who battle dental phobias with the ability to reduce their anxieties and to get the dental care they need to maintain a healthy smile. Sedation dentistry offers a variety of benefits. On top of reducing your anxiety (which we know is a major benefit), it can also reduce gag reflex. If you are someone who finds they have a sensitive gag reflex and fears even getting a dental cleaning, then sedation might be the best option for you. With the patient relaxed we can also focus all of our attention on your treatment, often completing the procedure in a shorter period of time.
Here in Cedar Park, our dentist uses oral sedation to help relax and calm you. Oral sedation comes in the form of a small pill, which you will take about a half an hour to one hour prior to your procedure. We can also control the intensity of the sedation’s effects by the strength of the oral medication we prescribe.
Oral sedation is often an anti-anxiety medication like Valium. While it won’t put you to sleep, some patients do feel groggy and some even doze off during the procedure. Since the effects of oral sedation can last for several hours, it’s important that you have someone who can take you home after your procedure.
Don’t bite your nails off thinking about your next dental appointment. Getting sedation dentistry in Cedar Park, TX, could be all you need to stay calm while getting the dental care your smile deserves. Call Parmer Oaks Dental Care today to learn more.