Posts for: June, 2016
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”
Like many people, you might be caring for an elderly parent or family member. That care should include a focus on their teeth and gums — a healthy mouth is vitally important to their overall health, nutrition and well-being. Because of the aging process, this can be challenging.
Here are 4 areas where you should focus your attention to assure the senior adult in your life has the healthiest mouth possible.
Make adjustments for hygiene. As we grow older, arthritis and similar conditions make brushing and flossing difficult to perform. You can help your senior adult keep up these vital tasks by switching to a powered toothbrush or refitting their brush with a bike handle or tennis ball to make gripping easier. Pre-loaded floss holders or water irrigators are effective alternatives to manual flossing if it becomes too difficult.
Have dentures or other appliances checked regularly. Many older people wear full or partial dentures. Due to the nature of these appliances, the risk of bone loss over time is greater, which can eventually affect their fit. Their dentist should check them regularly and reline or repair them if possible. Eventually, they may need a new appliance to match any changing contours in the mouth.
Be aware of age-related dental issues. Age-related conditions of both the mouth and the body (like osteoporosis, which can affect bone density) can impact dental health. For example, an older person can develop lower saliva flow, often due to medications they’re taking. This, as well as gastric reflux common in older people, increases acidity and a higher risk of tooth decay. Past dental work like fillings, crowns or bridges may also make hygiene and additional treatment more difficult.
Keep up regular dental visits. In light of all this, it’s crucial to keep up with regular dental visits for continuing teeth and gum health. Besides cleanings, these visits are also important for monitoring signs of tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease and oral cancer. It’s also a good opportunity to gauge the effectiveness of their hygiene efforts and suggest adjustments.
If you would like more information on dental care for older adults, 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 “Aging & Dental Health.”
If your chronic headache or jaw pain has been evaluated by a doctor and it seems as though every cause has been ruled out, you may be dealing with temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMJ. At The Cinamon & Hubley Dental Practice in Framingham, MA, TMJ is commonly seen and treated by our dentists, Dr. James Cinamon and Dr. Paul Hubley. To find out more about this jaw disorder, read on.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, also known as TMJD or TMD, is caused by a misalignment of the jaw. This can be a anatomical problem present from birth, or it could be associated with a previous injury to the jaw. Stress, teeth grinding and poor posture can also contribute to its development. Because women are more susceptible to TMJ than men, there is some speculation that female hormones could play a role in understanding why TMJ develops.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
Most people who have TMJ suffer from jaw joint pain; this pain can radiate to other parts of the face, ears, head, neck or shoulders. They may find that chewing or opening the mouth is difficult, even impossible, and may produce a cracking or popping sound.
How can my Framingham dentist treat my TMJ?
At The Cinamon & Hubley Dental Practice, our dentists have extensive knowledge of the head, neck and jaw structure. This knowledge enables them to diagnose TMJ or rule it out in favor of other conditions which can mimic it. If your Framingham dentist determines you do have TMJ, there are several treatments available. A custom-fitted bite splint may be created; wearing this for several hours a day helps to gently realigns the jaw into a more comfortable position. Many patients also find relief through a series of physical therapy exercises designed to reduce tension in the jaw joint.
If you think you might be dealing with TMJ, please contact the dental office of Dr. Cinamon and Dr. Hubley in Framingham, MA. We'd be glad to set you up with an appointment to evaluate your specific symptoms and address your concerns!