Posts for category: Dental Procedures
The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.
"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")
Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)
Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).
Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.
Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.
What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.
If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”
One of the key parts to an effective oral disease prevention plan is practicing daily oral hygiene to remove dental plaque. Both brushing and flossing are necessary for cleaning your teeth of this thin biofilm of bacteria and food particles most responsible for tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
But as important as they are, these two essential hygiene tasks aren’t the end-all-be-all for lowering your disease risk. For the best protection, you should also visit your dentist at least twice a year for thorough dental cleanings. That’s because plaque you might have missed can turn into something much more difficult to remove: calculus.
Also known as tartar, calculus is hardened deposits of plaque. The term comes from the Latin word meaning “small stone,” an apt description of its texture on tooth surfaces. Although not the same as the branch of mathematics that bears the same name, both derive from the same Latin word: Merchants and traders centuries ago used small stones to “calculate” their various transactions.
Over time soft and pliable dental plaque hardens into calculus, in part due to a reaction with saliva. Because of the difficulty of accessing all tooth surfaces, calculus can form even if you have an effective daily hygiene practice.
Once formed, calculus can adhere to teeth so tenaciously, it’s impossible to remove it with brushing and flossing. But dentists and hygienists can remove calculus safely with special tools called scalers.
And it should be removed or it will continue to foster bacterial growth. This in turn increases the chances for infections that attack the teeth, gums or underlying bone. Keeping it under control will therefore diminish your risk for developing dental disease.
Although there are other factors like heredity that can affect your disease risk, keeping your mouth clean is the number one thing you can do to protect your teeth and gums. A daily hygiene practice and regular dental visits will help ensure plaque and its calcified form calculus won’t be a problem.
While braces are often the stars for straightening smiles, they're not the only cast members in an orthodontic production. Orthodontists occasionally turn to other appliances if the bite problem is challenging. Whatever the tool, though, they usually have something in common—they use the principle of anchorage.
To understand anchorage, let's first consider the classic kid's game Tug of War. With teams on either end of a rope, the object is to pull the opposing team across the center line before they pull you. To maximize your pulling force, the player at the back of your rope, usually your stoutest member, holds steady or "anchors" the rest of the team.
Like a Tug of War team, braces exert force against the teeth. This stimulates the supporting periodontal ligament to remodel itself and allow the teeth to move. The braces use the teeth they are attached to as anchors, which in a lot of cases are the back teeth. By attaching a thin wire to the brackets or braces on the teeth, the orthodontist includes all the teeth on the arch, from one end to the other. Anchored in place, the wire can maintain a constant pressure against the teeth to move them.
But not all bite situations are this straightforward. Sometimes an orthodontist needs to influence jaw growth in addition to teeth movement. For this purpose, they often use orthodontic headgear, which runs around the back of the head or neck and attaches to orthodontic brackets on the teeth. It still involves an anchor but in this case it's the patient's own skull.
In some situations, an orthodontist may feel he or she needs more anchorage as the teeth alone may not be enough. For this, they might establish a separate or additional anchor point using a temporary anchorage device (TAD). A TAD resembles a tiny screw that's inserted into the jawbone near the tooth intended for movement. The orthodontist can then attach the TAD to braces hardware using some form of elastics. After treatment, they remove the TAD.
These are just a couple examples of specialized tools an orthodontist can use for bite correction. Thanks to them and similar devices, even the most complex bite problem can be overcome to create a healthier and more attractive 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 “Orthodontic Headgear & Other Anchorage Appliances.”
Is your smile missing teeth? Have you cracked or lost a tooth from an accident or injury? If you are looking for a way to restore your smile, Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation can help with dental implants.
Why patients choose dental implants
Many people who have lost teeth from disease or injury, or who are using dentures or a dental bridge look to dental implants to get their smiles back. If you are someone who:
- Currently wears uncomfortable dentures
- Wishes to maintain existing healthy teeth, but needs some teeth replaced
- Avoids photos because you want to hide your smile
Then dental implants from Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation could be for you. They are a great option for patients who are looking for a long-term solution for broken or missing teeth. The implants serve as a foundation for artificial teeth, making them more durable and longer lasting than dentures or a bridge. Dental implants are placed in the root canal and permanently affixed to the jawbone, creating a stable base for artificial teeth to be secured in your mouth. Sometimes, dental implants can be used as a solid anchor for dentures if that better meets the patient's needs.
The artificial teeth look exactly like natural teeth, so they easily blend in with other teeth in the mouth. These dental implants provide patients with the security and confidence to eat, laugh and smile normally. With proper care, dental implants can last a lifetime, just like natural teeth.
Benefits of dental implants
When researching dental care options, you might find that there are several choices for treatment. So, how do you make a decision? The American Dental Association (ADA) offers the following as major benefits of choosing dental implants:
- If you are missing teeth in your mouth, the remaining teeth can shift if a gap is not filled with a replacement tooth
- Missing teeth can impact speech and eating abilities
- A single tooth can be replaced without treating healthy surrounding teeth
- Dentures attached to dental implants provide a more comfortable and natural feel than unattached dentures that can slip out of place
Dental implants are a reliable, permanent solution to restore your smile. They come at a good value, because they will last forever if you take good care of them. Just like natural teeth, everyone should follow the ADA oral care guidelines of brushing twice a day and flossing once a day for a healthy mouth.
Call Enchanting Dentistry today at (954) 336-8478 to schedule your consultation for dental implants in Plantation, FL.
Learn more about root canals and how they can preserve your oral health.
You came into our Plantation, FL, office for a regular dental checkup, just to find out from Dr. Annette Middelhof that you need a root canal. At this point, you're probably wondering both why you need this procedure and what it can do for your smile. Well, simply read on to learn everything you need to know about getting a root canal from us here at Enchanting Dentistry!
Why is a root canal performed?
In order to understand why this endodontic procedure is performed, it’s important to first understand a little bit about the anatomy of a tooth. Underneath the hard enamel and dentin layers of a tooth lies a soft mass known as the dental pulp. This pulp is made up of tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, which is why people generally experience a great deal of pain when it becomes inflamed or infected.
Once the pulp is infected the only option is for our Plantation, FL, general dentist to remove the soft-tissue mass. Luckily, you won’t need the pulp in order to maintain a healthy, viable tooth.
What can infect or inflame the dental pulp?
The pulp is hidden deep inside the tooth, so how can this little structure even be affected by the outside world? Common causes of an infected dental pulp include,
- Deep decay
- Traumatic injury or damage to the tooth (e.g. cracks, chips, fractures, etc.)
Teeth that have weakened over time due to undergoing repeated dental procedures or having a large filling that can no longer fully support the tooth are also at risk for developing an infection that could harm the pulp.
How do I know that I have an infected dental pulp?
While there are some people who may need root canal therapy but never experience any symptoms, it’s common for patients to come in complaining of a toothache. Even though the rest of the tooth does not contain nerves, the pulp does. So when the pulp becomes inflamed or infected, a toothache is usually a telltale sign that something is wrong.
Along with a toothache, you may also notice,
- Sudden and prolonged tooth sensitivity
- Pain that gets worse when chewing, biting, or putting pressure on the tooth
- Darkening of the tooth
- Swollen and red gums surrounding the tooth
- A small pimple-like growth that develops on the gums near the tooth (this is known as an abscess)
Need dental care? Give us a call!
Do you still have questions about root canal therapy? Are you dealing with a toothache or other dental problems that require urgent care? No matter what’s going on, you can always turn to the dental experts at Enchanting Dentistry in Plantation, FL, for treatment. Call us today at 954-DENTIST (954-336-8478).