Posts for: January, 2016
Do you often wish your teeth were straighter, but consider braces to be too much of a hassle? Now, you can get the perfect smile without traditional braces. With help from your Madisonville, KY dentist at Baldwin Dental Group, you can join the 3 million people worldwide who have benefited from Invisalign’s revolutionary orthodontic treatment.
Invisalign: The Clear Alternative to Braces
Invisalign uses a series of clear and sturdy yet comfortable aligner trays made of plastic. The process involves using positive pressure applied to the teeth to move them into the desired positions. Tiny, tooth-colored bumps affixed to the teeth called attachments help the trays move some teeth more than others, providing pinpoint accuracy. Your current trays are replaced by the next set in the series approximately every two weeks until you complete the treatment. The entire process usually lasts under two years, but the length of treatment varies depending on each patient.
Before you can start treatment, your dentist determines if Invisalign is your best option. Very severe cases may need more aggressive treatment though most orthodontic cases can benefit from Invisalign. At your first appointment, your dentist takes a 3D mold of your mouth to send to Invisalign’s dental laboratory. There, a lab technician creates a customized video showing you exactly the route your teeth will take to their final straightened positions. When you and your dentist approve the video, the laboratory begins creating your custom trays and delivers them to your dentist’s office.
The Invisalign Treatment
When the trays come in, an appointment with your dentist helps you understand how the trays work. You will get a lesson on how to insert, remove and care for the trays. Since your results depend entirely on your commitment to wearing the trays, you will be required to wear them for 22 hours a day. You may remove the trays to eat and brush, but must wear the trays while sleeping. While the trays may feel bulky or uncomfortable at first, you will quickly get used to them and wearing them will become second nature.
For more information on Invisalign, please contact Dr. Ben Baldwin, DMD and Dr. Stuart R. Baldwin, D.M.D. at Baldwin Dental Group in Madisonville, KY. Call (270) 245-1547 to schedule your consultation for Invisalign today!
Want to know the exact wrong way to pry open a stubborn lid? Just ask Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC-TV’s popular “Tonight Show.” When the 40-year-old funnyman had trouble opening a tube of scar tissue repair gel with his hands, he decided to try using his teeth.
What happened next wasn’t funny: Attempting to remove the cap, Fallon chipped his front tooth, adding another medical problem to the serious finger injury he suffered a few weeks before (the same wound he was trying to take care of with the gel). If there’s a moral to this story, it might be this: Use the right tool for the job… and that tool isn’t your teeth!
Yet Fallon is hardly alone in his dilemma. According to the American Association of Endodontists, chipped teeth account for the majority of dental injuries. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers a number of great ways to restore damaged teeth.
If the chip is relatively small, it’s often possible to fix it with cosmetic bonding. In this procedure, tough, natural-looking resin is used to fill in the part of the tooth that has been lost. Built up layer by layer, the composite resin is cured with a special light until it’s hard, shiny… and difficult to tell from your natural teeth. Best of all, cosmetic bonding can often be done in one office visit, with little or no discomfort. It can last for up to ten years, so it’s great for kids who may be getting more permanent repairs later.
For larger chips or cracks, veneers or crowns may be suggested. Veneers are wafer-thin porcelain coverings that go over the entire front surface of one or more teeth. They can be used to repair minor to moderate defects, such as chips, discolorations, or spacing irregularities. They can also give you the “Hollywood white” smile you’ve seen on many celebrities.
Veneers are generally custom-made in a lab, and require more than one office visit. Because a small amount of tooth structure must be removed in order to put them in place, veneers are considered an irreversible treatment. But durable and long-lasting veneers are the restorations of choice for many people.
Crowns (also called caps) are used when even more of the tooth structure is missing. They can replace the entire visible part of the tooth, as long as the tooth’s roots remain viable. Crowns, like veneers, are custom-fabricated to match your teeth in size, shape and color; they are generally made in a dental lab and require more than one office visit. However, teeth restored with crowns function well, look natural, and can last for many years.
So what happened to Jimmy Fallon? We aren’t sure which restoration he received… but we do know that he was back on TV the same night, flashing a big smile.
If you would like more information about tooth restorations, please contact us or schedule a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers” and “Artistic Repair Of Front Teeth With Composite Resin.”
Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive bacterial infection caused primarily by bacterial plaque on tooth surfaces not adequately removed by daily oral hygiene. In fact, nearly all of us will develop gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissues) if we fail to clean our teeth and gums for an extended period of time.
Some people, however, have a greater susceptibility for developing gum disease because of other risk factors not related to hygiene. Patients with diabetes are at particular high risk for acute forms of gum disease.
Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body can’t adequately regulate the bloodstream’s levels of glucose, the body’s primary energy source. Type 1 diabetes is caused by inadequate production in the pancreas of the hormone insulin, the body’s primary glucose regulator. In Type 2 diabetes the body develops a resistance to insulin’s effects on glucose, even if the insulin production is adequate. Type 1 patients require daily insulin injections to survive, while most Type 2 patients manage their condition with medications, dietary improvements, exercise and often insulin supplements.
Diabetes has a number of serious consequences, including a higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Its connection with gum disease, though, is related to how the disease alters the body’s response to infection and trauma by increasing the occurrence of inflammation. While inflammation is a beneficial response of the body’s immune system to fight infection, prolonged inflammation destroys tissues. A similar process occurs with gum disease, as chronic inflammation leads to tissue damage and ultimately tooth loss.
Researchers have found that patients with diabetes and gum disease may lessen the effects of inflammation related to each condition by properly managing both. If you’ve been diagnosed with either type of diabetes, proper dental care is especially important for you to reduce your risk of gum disease. In addition to effective daily brushing and flossing and a professional cleaning and checkup every six months (more frequent is generally better), you should also monitor your gum health very closely, paying particular attention to any occurrence of bleeding, redness or swelling of the gums.
If you encounter any of these signs you should contact us as soon as possible for an examination. And be sure to inform any dental professional that cares for your teeth you’re diabetic — this could affect their treatment approach.
If you would like more information on dental care for patients with diabetes, 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 “Diabetes & Periodontal Disease.”