Posts for: December, 2016
Moving your teeth to a more functional and attractive alignment is a big undertaking. You can invest months — even years — and a lot of expense to correct a bad bite. But all that effort could be for nothing if your teeth return to their original positions.
The very aspect of dental physiology that makes orthodontics possible can work against you in reverse. Your teeth are not actually rigidly fixed in the bone: they're held in place by an elastic gum tissue known as the periodontal ligament. The ligament lies between the tooth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers.
While this mechanism holds the teeth firmly in place, it also allows the teeth to move in response to changes in the mouth. As we age, for example, and the teeth wear, the ligament allows movement of the teeth to accommodate for the loss of tooth surface that might have been created by the wear.
When we employ braces we're changing the mouth environment by applying pressure to the teeth in a certain direction. The teeth move in response to this pressure. But when the pressure is no longer there after removing the braces or other orthodontic devices, the ligament mechanism may then respond with a kind of “muscle memory” to pull the teeth back to where they were before.
To prevent this, we need to help the teeth maintain their new position, at least until they've become firmly set. We do this with an oral appliance known as a retainer. Just as its name implies it helps the teeth “retain” their new position.
We require most patients to initially wear their retainer around the clock. After a while we can scale back to just a few hours a day, usually at nighttime. Younger patients may only need to wear a retainer for eighteen months or so. Adults, though, may need to wear one for much longer or in some cases permanently to maintain their new bite.
Although having to wear a retainer can be tedious at times, it's a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment. By wearing one you'll have a better chance of permanently keeping your new smile.
If you would like more information on caring for your teeth after braces, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
What's an actor's most important feature? According to Vivica A. Fox, whose most recent big-screen role was in Independence Day: Resurgence, it's what you see right up front.
"On screen, your smile and your eyes are the most inviting things that bring the audience in" she said. "Especially if you play the hot chick."
But like lots of people, Vivica reached a point where she felt her smile needed a little help in order to look its best. That's when she turned to a popular cosmetic dental treatment.
"I got veneers years ago," Ms. Fox told Dear Doctor magazine in a recent interview, "just because I had some gapping that probably only I noticed."
What exactly are dental veneers? Essentially, they are thin shells of lustrous porcelain that are permanently attached to the front surfaces of the teeth. Tough, lifelike and stain-resistant, they can cover up a number of defects in your smile — including stains, chips, cracks, and even minor spacing irregularities like the ones Vivica had.
Veneers have become the treatment of choice for Hollywood celebs — and lots of regular folks too — for many reasons. Unlike some treatments that can take many months, it takes just a few appointments to have veneers placed on your teeth. Because they are custom made just for you, they allow you to decide how bright you want your smile to be: anywhere from a natural pearly hue to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Best of all, they are easy to maintain, and can last for many years with only routine care.
To place traditional veneers, it's necessary to prepare the tooth by removing a small amount (a millimeter or two) of its enamel surface. This keeps it from feeling too big — but it also means the treatment can't be reversed, so once you get veneers, you'll always have them. In certain situations, "no-prep" or minimal-prep veneers, which require little or no removal of tooth enamel, may be an option for some people.
Veneers aren't the only way to create a better smile: Teeth whitening, crowns or orthodontic work may also be an alternative. But for many, veneers are the preferred option. What does Vivica think of hers?
"I love my veneers!" she declared, noting that they have held up well for over a decade.
Leaving missing or damaged teeth untreated can take a toll on your smile in the long run. While some consequences may seem insignificant, others, like sagging facial skin or bone atrophy, may drive you to take the first steps in correcting the problem. Luckily, crowns and bridges can help you restore your smile and fill in your gaps. Learn more about crowns and bridges with Dr. George Landress at Danbury Smiles in Danbury, CT.
What are crowns and bridges?
Crowns and bridges, while different restorations, are similar in their materials, design and placement. A dental crown fits over the top of a single tooth to protect it. A bridge fits over two healthy teeth to bridge a gap left behind by a missing tooth. A dental laboratory creates crowns and bridges from porcelain, which has similar qualities as your natural teeth, ensuring a natural look. Once in place, your crown or bridge will look and function like a natural tooth.
How can crowns and bridges work together to restore my smile?
While a dental crown functions on its own, a permanent bridge requires the help of a dental crown on either side to hold it securely and permanently in place. A bridge fills in a gap while a crown can restore a broken, damaged, or misshapen tooth to prevent further damage or improve its appearance. Used in conjunction with one another, crowns and bridges have the potential to change the look of your smile for the better while also improving its functionality.
Crowns and Bridges in Danbury, CT
Since both restorations use dental crowns, your dentist places both crowns and bridges into your mouth using generally the same method. The tooth to receive the crown first requires some preparation. Your dentist removes enamel from the sides and top of the tooth to make room for the crown then carefully shapes the tooth to fit inside the crown. After preparation, your dentist permanently attaches the crown to the tooth.
For more information on crowns and bridges in Danbury, CT, please contact Dr. Landress at Danbury Smiles. Call (203) 743-7608 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Landress today!