Posts for category: Dental Procedures
Dental implants are screw-shaped metal dental devices that are surgically installed into the jawbone to act as the foundation on which dentists can mount artificial teeth. Since they’ll be secured right into the jawbone, they’ll feel more comfortable and secure than other teeth restoration treatments. Additionally, they won’t move around and will really feel and function like natural teeth.
Here at Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, your dentist, Dr. Annette Middelhof, regularly utilizes dental implants to repair patients' smiles—read on to learn why.
How Dental Implants Function
A dental implant consists of three primary components, which include the root crafted from metal, usually titanium, the dental crown, and the abutment. The root component will be screwed directly in the jawbone to serve as an anchor for the entire dental implant. The middle part, the abutment, screws into the metal root and the dental crown is the synthetic, but realistic-looking, tooth replacement.
Once installed, the implants are meant to effectively replace both the tooth and tooth roots, meaning that you can eat with them and clean them as you would your real teeth.
Can I Receive a Dental Implant?
Anyone with great general/oral health and an adequate amount of jawbone may be an excellent candidate for dental implant surgery. On the other hand, if you suffer from an autoimmune disease or a chronic health issue, dental implants may not be the most suitable teeth replacement solution for you. It’s also vital to note that being a smoker could significantly impact your eligibility for the procedure.
With this in mind, a thorough evaluation with your dentist in Plantation, FL, will be your best bet to determine whether or not you can receive dental implants. Once your dentist determines that you qualify for the procedure, you may need to undergo other dental treatments to ensure that your oral health is in top shape before surgery.
For Questions or More Details About Dental Implants or Other Teeth Replacement Procedures, Call Us
Dial (954) 336-8478 to set up an evaluation with your dentist here at Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, Dr. Annette Middelfhof.
If you have a less than attractive smile due to some moderate imperfections, dental veneers may be the answer. This relatively inexpensive dental restoration may be the key to transforming your smile.
If you're thinking of veneers as a “thin covering,” you're on the right track. Just like construction veneers used to cover wall surfaces, dental veneers are thin wafers of material (usually porcelain) that cover the front of tooth surfaces. Made uniquely for the individual patient, veneers provide a life-like covering that can mask a variety of dental imperfections.
Veneers are mildly invasive, meaning some of the enamel layer of the teeth to which they're bonded will need to be removed. If this alteration occurs, it's permanent, so the teeth will require a veneer or other restoration from then on. It's usually necessary, though, so that the veneer doesn't appear too bulky. Even so, veneers are still less invasive than other restorations.
The list of appearance problems veneers can address is quite varied. One of their more common uses is to correct certain structural flaws in teeth: chips, abnormal tooth shape from wear or teeth that are congenitally smaller than normal.
They're also a remedy for heavy staining. While teeth whitening can temporarily brighten a dull, dingy smile, veneers provide a permanent solution for the problem of staining. They're also a practical option for internal tooth staining, which can't be addressed by either home or professional external teeth whitening procedures.
Finally, veneers may be used to close small gaps and other mild forms of dental misalignment. And although they may not be able to correct larger gaps by themselves, they're sometimes used in conjunction with orthodontic treatment.
Veneers can address many dental flaws, but not all. To see if your dental situation could benefit from a veneer application, you'll need to undergo a complete dental examination. If it seems veneers aren't a good fit for you, your dentist will discuss other types of cosmetic treatments to improve your smile.
If, on the other hand, veneers do appear to be a viable option for you, you're just a few visits away from a completely new look. Veneers can change your smile—and your life!
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers: Strength & Beauty as Never Before.”
Chronic jaw pain can be an unnerving experience that drains the joy out of life. And because of the difficulty in controlling it patients desperate for relief may tread into less-tested treatment waters.
Temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are a group of conditions affecting the joints connecting the lower jaw to the skull and their associated muscles and tendons. The exact causes are difficult to pinpoint, but stress, hormones or teeth grinding habits all seem to be critical factors for TMD.
The most common way to treat TMD is with therapies used for other joint-related problems, like exercise, thermal (hot and cold) applications, physical therapy or medication. Patients can also make diet changes to ease jaw function or, if appropriate, wear a night guard to reduce teeth grinding.
These conservative, non-invasive therapies seem to provide the widest relief for the most people. But this approach may have limited success with some patients, causing them to consider a more radical treatment path like jaw surgery. Unfortunately, surgical results haven't been as impressive as the traditional approach.
In recent years, another treatment candidate has emerged outside of traditional physical therapy, but also not as invasive as surgery: Botox injections. Botox is a drug containing botulinum toxin type A, which can cause muscle paralysis. Mostly used in tiny doses to cosmetically soften wrinkles, Botox injections have been proposed to paralyze certain jaw muscles to ease TMD symptoms.
Although this sounds like a plausible approach, Botox injections have some issues that should give prospective patients pause. First, Botox can only relieve symptoms temporarily, requiring repeated injections with increasingly stronger doses. Injection sites can become painful, bruised or swollen, and patients can suffer headaches. At worst, muscles that are repeatedly paralyzed may atrophy, causing among other things facial deformity.
The most troubling issue, though, is a lack of strong evidence (outside of a few anecdotal accounts) that Botox injections can effectively relieve TMD symptoms. As such, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has yet to approve its use for TMD treatment.
The treatment route most promising for managing TMD remains traditional physical and drug therapies, coupled with diet and lifestyle changes. It can be a long process of trial and error, but your chances for true jaw pain relief are most likely down this well-attested road.
If you would like more information on treating jaw disorders, 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 “Botox Treatment for TMJ Pain.”
Miley Cyrus's rise to fame began when she was cast in the Disney series Hannah Montana. She played the title character, Hannah Montana, a famous singing star hiding her true identity, ordinary girl, Miley Stewart. In her real life at the time, Miley Cyrus had her own little secret—she was undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten her smile.
Like many teenagers (as well as many adults), Cyrus's dental bite wasn't in proper alignment. She could have gone the traditional way by straightening her smile with braces fixed to the front of her teeth. It's an effective treatment, but the metallic hardware can overwhelm a person's appearance.
With her various roles in the public spotlight, Cyrus and her family wanted an effective but out-of-sight method for moving her teeth. They chose a relatively new one called lingual braces. Unlike traditional braces, the hardware for lingual braces is fixed on the back of the teeth (or the tongue side, hence the term “lingual”).
Lingual braces can correct any bite problem labial (“lip”) braces can, just through different mechanics of movement. Its main appeal is that the hardware is hidden behind the teeth, so only you and your orthodontist need know you're wearing braces.
There is also less risk of damage to the mouth or the braces themselves if you're in a sport or profession where you're at high risk for facial blows. And unlike patients with traditional braces, you'll have an unobstructed view of your progress over the course of treatment.
Lingual braces do tend to cost more than traditional braces. Some patients also have difficulty at first with speaking and tongue comfort, though most grow accustomed to the braces within a couple of weeks. Because lingual braces are relatively new, there's been a limited number of orthodontists offering it.
But lingual braces are just one of the ways to straighten teeth. Modern dentistry offers several ways to give you your dream smile. If you have dental problems or would like to improve the look of your smile, please contact us or schedule a consultation, and we can discuss your options. To learn more, read the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Lingual Braces” and “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
How your dentist in Plantation, FL, can help you fight gum disease
Did you know that, according to the CDC, half of all adults age 30 and older suffer from gum disease? It’s true, but you don’t have to be one of them. The truth is, gum disease is both preventable and reversible, and Dr. Annette Middlehof of Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, offers comprehensive dental care including preventive services, to help you fight gum disease.
Unfortunately, gum disease often presents minimal symptoms. All you may notice is slight bleeding when you brush and floss. Don’t ignore this bleeding, because it is an early sign of gum disease. These are some additional signs and symptoms indicating your gums aren’t as healthy as they could be:
- Gums that are irritated and red
- Gums that are swollen and puffy
- Frequent episodes of bad breath
- Frequent episodes of a sour taste in your mouth
If you notice any of these signs and symptoms, it means you are on your way to having gum disease. The good news is, you can reverse gum disease completely, but you have to start keeping excellent oral hygiene habits. You need to:
- Brush after meals and before bed
- Floss at least once each day
Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the plaque that clings to your teeth. The bacteria produce poisons that cause inflammation and infection. When you remove the plaque by brushing and flossing, you are disrupting the bacteria’s ability to produce poisons that can destroy your mouth.
You also need to visit your dentist at least once each year for a dental exam, including x-rays. Your dentist can evaluate the health of your gums, supporting bone, and teeth, to determine what kind of preventive care you need. If your mouth is generally healthy, you may only need to have professional dental cleanings once every six to twelve months. If you have gum or periodontal disease, your dentist may recommend periodontal treatment, followed up by dental cleaning appointments every three to four months.
To learn more about gum disease prevention, symptoms, and treatment, call Dr. Annette Middlehof of Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, at (954) 336-8478. Call now!