Posts for: December, 2014
The reason for extracting a tooth may be all too obvious — the tooth is too decayed or damaged to attempt saving. The reason for extracting a wisdom tooth, on the other hand, may not be so apparent: from the perspective of pain or reduced function, you may not notice a thing. Our recommendation to remove a wisdom tooth is based primarily on what may be occurring out of view below the gum line and its potential threat to adjacent teeth.
Teeth grow and develop below the gum line in the jaw, and then push their way through the gums as they appear in the mouth (eruption). After a normal eruption, the enamel-covered crown is visible above the gum line; the remaining tooth root (about two-thirds of the tooth’s length) resides below the gum line. Because wisdom teeth, or third molars, erupt rather late between ages 17 and 25, they may lack the room to erupt properly due to crowding from other teeth that have already erupted. This can cause the wisdom tooth not to erupt fully through the gums, leaving the crown trapped below the gum line, a condition known as impaction. For the tooth, impaction increases the chances of infection, cyst formation and gum disease around it.
An impacted wisdom tooth can also cause problems for the adjacent teeth as well. The impacted tooth may begin to press against the roots of other teeth; the resulting pressure can damage the other roots, increasing the risk for disease or future tooth loss. A person may not even know they have this problem since there’s often little to no noticeable pain or symptoms.
It may seem counterintuitive, but the best time to remove a wisdom tooth is when it’s not causing immediate problems. There will be, however, signs found during examination (particularly x-rays or CT scan) that future problems are in the making. By extracting an impacted wisdom tooth at the appropriate time, we can avoid more serious problems in the future and improve oral health.
If you would like more information on wisdom teeth and your oral health, 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 “Removing Wisdom Teeth.”
Fracturing back molars is an experience no one ever wants to have. But when a helicopter crashed during a back country ski trip, supermodel Christie Brinkley soon discovered that she had fractured two molars. Fortunately for Christie, her oral health was restored with two dental implants. As she said during an interview with Dear Doctor magazine, “I am grateful for the dental implant technology that feels and looks so natural.”
While Christie's dental implants replaced back teeth, we routinely use them to replace both back and the more visible front teeth. But best of all, we have demonstrated expertise at making dental implant crowns look real. This is where we meld science and artistry.
What drives the most natural and beautiful result is how the crown (the visible, white portion of a tooth) actually emerges through the gum tissues. We also match the adjacent teeth identically in color, appearance, shape and profile. But we can't take all the credit, as it takes an entire “behind-the-scenes” team to produce dazzling results. Choice of materials, the laboratory technician (the person who actually handcrafts the tooth), the expertise we use in placing a dental implant crown and the total quality of care we provide are the ingredients necessary for success.
Another critical factor required is ensuring there is enough bone volume and gum tissue to support an implant. Both of these must also be in the right position to anchor an implant. However, if you do not have adequate bone volume, you may be a candidate for a minor surgical procedure to increase your bone volume through bone grafting or other regenerative surgical techniques.
To learn more about dental implants, continue reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Matching Teeth & Implants.” Or you can contact us today to schedule an appointment so that we can conduct a thorough examination, listen to your concerns, answer your questions and discuss treatment options. And if you want to read the entire feature article on Christie Brinkley, continue reading “The Secret Behind Christie Brinkley's Supermodel Smile.”
Looking at pictures and videos of today's hottest celebrities, it can be easy to think that they were born with perfect smiles. After all, celebrities don't need help from dental offices like Colesville Dentistry like the rest of us do, do they? As it turns out, they do.
Not all of the perfectly straight and white smiles you see sported in the tabloids and movies today always looked that way. Dental implants in Silver Spring are more common than you might think, and even celebrities are having dental work done. Here are four celebrities who have had major dental work done over the years.
Though you wouldn't know it by looking at him now, Tom Cruise was not born with perfect teeth. In fact, his teeth were severely misaligned and discolored before he had cosmetic dental work done. Since then, Cruise has had teeth whitening and straightening, and he has received veneers as well--three procedures anyone could have done at Colesville Dentistry.
In order to get into character for his 1984 film, "Birdy," Nicolas Cage actually had two of his teeth pulled. Since then, he has had his mouth restored with a full set of veneers. Silver Spring dental implant patients can have the same beautiful transformation today.
The chipped tooth Jim Carrey sported in the movie "Dumb and Dumber" wasn't fake--Carrey really has a chipped tooth. While he has had reconstructive dental work to fix his appearance, he will remove the tooth bonding from time to time for a laugh. Carrey is clearly one individual who is comfortable with his smile and the dental work he has received.
Boxers may not need or want perfect celebrity smiles in order to do their job, but Mike Tyson's teeth were especially bad. The boxer has since had his teeth replaced, and now he sports a smile that isn't perfect but that is much more attractive than before.
Celebrities aren't the only ones having reconstructive dental work done, either. Dental implants in Silver Springs are also quite common as well. Whether your teeth are yellowed, slightly out of alignment or missing altogether, you can have a smile as beautiful as the celebrities' too. Call or visit Colesville Dentistry and discuss your treatment options today. You'll have a beautifully white and straight smile worthy of red carpet status before you know it!
As a provider of dental implants in Silver Spring, Maryland, we will give you instructions on how to care for them after the procedure. Dental implants are a lifelong investment, but without regular care, they may not last long at all.
While the implant will not decay, you still need to practice good oral hygiene. This means brushing your teeth regularly. You also need to floss. The gums and teeth on either side of the implant still need to be cared for.
It is especially important to clean along the gum line of your implants. Implant brushes tailored to this purpose are available and may be helpful to you in keeping your gums clean. By keeping the gum line clean you reduce the risk of bacteria growing and creating inflammation of the gums. If not treated this can eventually cause bone loss, and can lead to you losing the implant.
Regular checkups can identify problems before they get out of hand. Checkups are usually every six months, but in some cases you may need to come in every three months. Cleaning around an implant can be more complex than cleaning a natural tooth. The cleaning process is also much more thorough than what you can do at home. Regular checkups work to ensure you keep your implant for a lifetime.
If You Smoke, Now is a Good Time to Quit
Smokers are at a greater risk of all kinds of problems related to implants. Smoking slows down healing. It is responsible for causing inflammation and bone loss. Again, bone loss can cause the implant to fail.
To make an appointment for your implant consultation at the Silver Spring office of Colesville Dentistry, call us today at (301) 384-6000.
If you’re the kind of person who can’t do without a smart phone, you’ve probably heard the expression “There’s an app for that!” These nifty little programs let you get directions, check the weather, watch stock prices… even optimize your sleep patterns and make high-pitched dog whistles. And shortly, you’ll be able to check how well you’ve been brushing your teeth.
News reports have mentioned a soon-to-be-available toothbrush that will interface with an app on your smart phone. The brush has sensors that record how much time you spend brushing, whether you reach all parts of your mouth, and whether you brush correctly (with up and down motions, not just side to side). It charts your oral hygiene habits, scores your brushing technique — and, if you allow it, shares information about how well (or poorly) you’re doing with your family, friends… even your dentist.
So do you need to run out and buy one of these gizmos as soon as they’re available? Of course not! However, anything that encourages you to take better care of your oral hygiene can’t hurt. A wise dentist once said: The important thing is not the brush, but the hand that holds it.
If you’re a “gadget person,” you may be intrigued by the device’s high-tech design, and the fact that it interfaces with your phone. Plus, maybe the idea of compiling (and sharing) your brushing record has a certain appeal. On the other hand, you might prefer a sleek, light electric brush that doesn’t keep track of your movements. Or maybe the simplest brush of all — a manual one, with soft bristles and a comfortable handle — works best for you.
The most important thing is that you regularly practice good oral hygiene: Brush twice a day, for two minutes each time, and floss once a day. Use whichever brush is best for you, and be sure to change it every three months, or when the bristles get stiff. Stay away from sugary snacks between meals (they contribute to decay by keeping your teeth bathed in acidic byproducts). Don’t use tobacco in any form, or chew on things that don’t belong in your mouth. And remember to come in for regular exams and professional cleanings. If an app helps you do these things — we're all for it.
If you would like to learn more about maintaining good oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. For more information, see the Dear Doctor magazine article “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children.”