Posts for: November, 2014

By Today's Dental
November 26, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
LeaMichelesWiseDentalDecision

Not long ago, Glee star Lea Michele had all of her wisdom teeth removed. This is a very common procedure that people in their twenties, like Michele, often undergo to prevent serious dental problems down the road. The actress found that the procedure really was actually not very difficult to tolerate.

“Feeling all better from my surgery!” she tweeted to fans a few days later. “Back to work tomorrow.”

Why do wisdom teeth so often cause problems? For one thing, they come in years later than the other 28 permanent teeth — usually between the ages of 17 and 25. By that time, there is often no room in the jaw to accommodate them. As man has evolved, the jaws have actually become smaller in size — often creating a lack of space for the wisdom teeth to erupt into proper position. If wisdom teeth become blocked (impacted) by other molars that are already there, infection and damage to neighboring teeth may result.

Sometimes the wisdom teeth themselves cause the problem by growing in at an odd angle. They push against other teeth, often compromising the adjacent tooth's supporting bone. While you would think pain would occur if any of these problems were present, that does not always alert us to a wisdom-tooth problem. It's usually diagnosed with the help of x-rays.

Wisdom tooth extraction is often performed in the dental office using a local anesthetic (numbing shot) to keep you from experiencing any pain, along with conscious sedation to help you relax. The type of anesthesia that's best for you will be determined before the procedure.

After we gently remove the tooth or teeth, you may need to have the site sutured (stitched) to promote healing. You will rest for a short time before going home, and may need to have someone drive you, depending on what type of anesthesia you were given.

Once you get home, you should apply an ice pack on the outside of your cheek for about five minutes on, five minutes off for as many hours as possible to help reduce any postoperative swelling on the first day. Starting on the second day, the warm moist heat of a washcloth placed on the cheek and hot salt water rinses will make you more comfortable. You may want to eat soft foods and brush your teeth very carefully during the recovery period, which lasts only a few days as Lea Michele discovered. Before you know it, you'll be “feeling all better!”

If you have any questions about wisdom teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Wisdom Teeth.”


By Today's Dental
November 24, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Dentures  

Tooth loss is a serious condition that affects a surprising number of the American population. No one likes walking around with teeth missing from their smile. Luckily, there are a variety of options for handling missing teeth and no one should have to deal with an incomplete smile.

Advancements in technology have opened doors to new and exciting treatment options; however, dentures have been a tried and true staple for replacing teeth for decades. It can be easy to overlook this treatment option when there are newer ones out there; however, there’s a reason why patients are still opting for dentures. Here are some reasons why dentures will always stand the test of time with us!

Eating is significantly easier

If you’re missing a lot of teeth, dentures can make it vastly easier to enjoy all your favorites meals again. This is one of the biggest pros of getting dentures. While it may take a little getting used to, you will soon realize how wonderful it is to be able to enjoy meals again.

Restores confidence

If you’ve been living with missing teeth, then you have probably felt self-conscious about your smile. However, with dentures, you can enjoy smiling for photos, talking with colleagues or going on a first date. No one will be able to tell that your teeth aren’t yours and you can finally smile with confidence.

Protects the rest of your smile

Dentures actually protect your remaining natural teeth from excessive wear and tear, so you won’t have to worry that the natural teeth you do have will need to be replaced due to wear.

They have a more attractive price tag

For some patients it’s just not possible for them to afford bridges or implants; however, dentures offer a better price point then other teeth replacement options, so everyone can still get the smile they want without worrying about how they’re going to afford it. This is especially true for those with full or significant tooth loss, as dental implants can be extremely expensive, particularly when replacing a complete smile.

Also, while other treatments might seem flashier and better, not everyone is an ideal candidate for other treatments; however, anyone with missing teeth can benefit from dentures. You don’t have to live with tooth loss. Dentures can make it possible for you to smile more and enjoy life.


By Today's Dental
November 11, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health   smoking  
4TipstoHelpyouQuittheSmokingHabit

It’s been widely established for decades that cigarette smoking contributes to cancer and heart disease. But did you know smoking will also increase your risk of tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease, as well as nuisance problems like tooth staining, bad breath and diminished taste perception?

Its effects on your teeth and mouth are all the more reason to quit smoking. But deciding and following through are two different things: many smokers find it painfully difficult to quit due to their addiction to nicotine, tobacco’s active ingredient.

But while difficult, it can be done. Here are 4 tips to help you follow through on your decision to quit smoking.

Change Your Response to Stress. Cigarette smoking is closely tied to the pleasure and reward areas of your brain. With its “hit” of nicotine, you sub-consciously identify smoking as a way to relieve the unpleasant feelings of stress. Instead, substitute other stress relievers when it occurs: going for a walk, talking to a friend or taking a few deep breaths. In time, this substitution will wear down the trigger response to stress you’ve developed with smoking.

Gradually Reduce Nicotine. You don’t have to quit abruptly or “cold turkey”: over the course of a few weeks, try switching to brands with decreasing levels of nicotine. Each week change to a brand with 0.2-0.4 milligrams less nicotine yield than the brand you were smoking the previous week. When you reach the lowest nicotine yield you can find, begin reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke each day. You can find a list of nicotine yields by brand at www.erowid.org/plants/tobacco/tobacco_nic.shtml.

Quitting Loves Company. While you’re responsible for quitting, you may also benefit from the support of others. Usually eight to ten weeks of peer group sessions, a cessation support group provides instruction and ample structure with others engaged in the same struggle. You can usually locate one of these support groups by asking your healthcare provider.

Talk to Your Doctor or Dentist. Next to you or your family, no one wants you to quit more than we do! We can provide you information, treatment and encouragement as you take this big step toward improving your life and health.

If you would like more information on how to quit smoking, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic and more tips for quitting by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking.”


By Today's Dental
November 04, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Invisalign   Clear Braces  

Get the Lowdown on Clear Braces
 

clear bracesBraces are used to straighten crooked or misaligned teeth and correct jaw issues, like underbites, overbites or cross bites. They can be clear, metal or even placed on the inside of the teeth. Clear braces are basically exactly the same as metallic braces, only made out of ceramic, rendering them clear to match the color of teeth. The aesthetic of them being clear is a selling point for all age groups, especially adult patients. 
 

The Clear Advantage 

 
Clear braces are much less noticeable than traditional metal braces. The brackets are made from ceramic with different degrees of transparency in order to match the natural tooth’s color and the wire may be powder coated to better blend in with the teeth. There may be some metallic parts to the clear braces, but these are usually placed at the back of the mouth so that they are completely unnoticeable in everyday speaking and eating. 
 
One or more appointments before installation of braces may be necessary. One may be a consultation to talk about your teeth and the process of having braces. Then, x-rays will be taken. Molds will also be taken of your teeth in order to prepare a plan of action for putting the braces onto the teeth. If some teeth are too close together, spacers may be needed to space them out for ideal placement of braces. 
 

The Time Frame

 
It takes from 1-2 hours to put the braces on the teeth. First, the teeth will be cleaned thoroughly to avoid any plaque or particles becoming trapped underneath the hardware. After the teeth are dried, the brackets are bonded to the tooth using special glue. The glue is then cured with a powerful curing light. Once all of the brackets are in place, the wire is put into them and held in place by rubber bands. 
 
Once the braces are installed and correctly in place, regular visits to your dentist or orthodontist are required in order to adjust the wire and rubber bands to move the teeth little by little. It also gives the opportunity to brush and floss without any obstruction while the wires and rubber bands are off of the brackets. 
 
Today’s Dental, just outside of the heart of Houston, TX, can help you achieve the smile you long for, while keeping it discreet with clear braces. Visit http://www.todaysdental.net/ to schedule a consultation today!