Posts for: February, 2016
We often associate orthodontics with moving several teeth on the upper or lower arches (or both) with braces or clear aligners. But not all patients require a major endeavor — sometimes only one or a few teeth need to be moved, and not very far.
A slight gap between the two upper front teeth is one type of situation that only requires minor tooth movement: just a few teeth need to be moved and usually just a millimeter or two. The appliances needed to achieve this are also relatively simple in design: removable retainers or small scale fixed braces with small springs or elastics that place pressure against the teeth. The process may also only take a few months rather than two years as with major tooth movement.
Preparing for the procedure, though, must be undertaken with great care. We need to first determine if moving the teeth even slightly could affect the bite with the opposite teeth. We must also ensure the roots of the teeth intended for movement are in good position for allowing the space to be closed.
We must then consider the other supporting structures for the teeth. It’s important for gums and bone to be healthy — if not, treating any found disease may be necessary first before beginning orthodontics. And, if the gap between the two upper teeth was created by an abnormally large frenum, the small strip of tissue connecting the lip to the upper gum, it may be necessary to remove it before tooth movement can begin to ensure the closed gap stays closed.
Like any other orthodontic treatment, minor tooth movement first requires a thorough examination with x-ray imaging to determine the exact tooth position, bite issues and the surrounding gum and bone health. We can then be reasonably certain if this straightforward procedure is right for you, and could help you obtain a more attractive smile.
If you would like more information on different orthodontic treatment choices, 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 “Minor Tooth Movement.”
A dental implant is an object designed to permanently replace and mimic the function of a crucial part of the body. Dental implants replace missing teeth from the root in patients who have lost theirs because of injury, damage, or infection. There are three components that make up a standard dental implant: the implant, abutment, and crown. Learn how James S. Cinamon, DMD, PC, and Paul J. Hubley, DMD, PC, your dentists at Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry in Framingham, MA, can help you replace a missing or vulnerable tooth with a dental implant that’s designed to last for years.
The Actual Implant (Titanium Screw)
A dental implant is a device that is installed inside of the gums in the place where a formerly rooted tooth was extracted. Over time, the implant will heal into the bone and become the new root of the tooth. It is a tiny titanium screw that’s designed to be readily accepted by the body. Bone tissue grows over the fissures and keeps the screw in place, much like what happens when you drill a screw into a piece of wood.
After an implant has healed and been fully accepted by the body—anywhere between two to nine months—your Framingham dentist installs the second part of the implant—the abutment. An abutment is a device that fits on top of the screw and can usually be partially seen above the gum line. This abutment will support the third and final component of the implant required to complete the procedure.
A crown is a piece of material that closely resembles the outer surface of a tooth. It can be made of metal, but when it’s created for a dental implant it is most commonly porcelain or tooth-colored composite material. The crown fills in the gap caused by the missing tooth and can be shaped to fit right into your smile as if you’ve had it all your life.
Consult with a Dental Implant Dentist
To get a full and complete understanding of how your implant procedure will go, call the Framingham, MA dentist office of Dr. James S. Cinamon and Dr. Paul J. Hubley at (508) 872-1422. They are highly educated dentists who are experienced in modern dental technology and will help you achieve a better, stronger smile.
Are bleeding gums something you should be concerned about? Dear Doctor magazine recently posed that question to Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician and host of the syndicated TV show The Doctors. He answered with two questions of his own: “If you started bleeding from your eyeball, would you seek medical attention?” Needless to say, most everyone would. “So,” he asked, “why is it that when we bleed all the time when we floss that we think it’s no big deal?” As it turns out, that’s an excellent question — and one that’s often misunderstood.
First of all, let’s clarify what we mean by “bleeding all the time.” As many as 90 percent of people occasionally experience bleeding gums when they clean their teeth — particularly if they don’t do it often, or are just starting a flossing routine. But if your gums bleed regularly when you brush or floss, it almost certainly means there’s a problem. Many think bleeding gums is a sign they are brushing too hard; this is possible, but unlikely. It’s much more probable that irritated and bleeding gums are a sign of periodontal (gum) disease.
How common is this malady? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of allÂ Americans over age 30 have mild, moderate or severe gum disease — and that number increases to 70.1 percent for those over 65! Periodontal disease can occur when a bacteria-rich biofilm in the mouth (also called plaque) is allowed to build up on tooth and gum surfaces. Plaque causes the gums to become inflamed, as the immune system responds to the bacteria. Eventually, this can cause gum tissue to pull away from the teeth, forming bacteria-filled “pockets” under the gum surface. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious infection, and even tooth loss.
What should you do if your gums bleed regularly when brushing or flossing? The first step is to come in for a thorough examination. In combination with a regular oral exam (and possibly x-rays or other diagnostic tests), a simple (and painless) instrument called a periodontal probe can be used to determine how far any periodontal disease may have progressed. Armed with this information, we can determine the most effective way to fight the battle against gum disease.
Above all, don’t wait too long to come in for an exam! As Dr. Stork notes, bleeding gums are “a sign that things aren’t quite right.” Â If you would like more information about bleeding gums, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Bleeding Gums.” You can read the entire interview with Dr. Travis Stork in Dear Doctor magazine.