Posts for: July, 2016
How dental sealants can protect your teeth
Sealants aren’t just for kids. Sealants are a state-of-the-art, non-invasive way to prevent tooth decay and keep your teeth looking good. Sealants are a protective, armor-like coating to protect the chewing surfaces of your teeth, guarding your teeth against harmful bacteria and food debris. Your dentists at The Cinamon & Hubley Dental Practice in Framingham, Massachusetts want you to know how dental sealants can save your smile.
Plaque contains millions of harmful bacteria that can destroy your teeth. Ideally, the bacterial plaque is removed with regular brushing and flossing, but it’s difficult to clean the tiny crevices and grooves of normal tooth anatomy. As a result, the bacteria and food debris can hide in these small, difficult-access areas. When bacterial plaque remains undisturbed, damaging toxins can form which can eat away strong tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.
It is well known that sealants are highly recommended for children. The guidelines are for first molars to be sealed between the ages of 5 and 7, with second molars sealed when a child is between the ages of 11 and 14. What isn’t so widely known, is that adults can benefit from sealants too!
Sealants can only be placed on teeth that are pristine, unrestored by a filling. Your dentists will apply an etching gel to your teeth, which provides microscopic holes that retain the sealant material. Then the sealant material, which is a liquid plastic resin, is applied to the etched areas of your tooth enamel. Your dentists in Framingham use a high-tech “curing” light to harden the sealant material. the result is a virtually invisible, protective coating that shields your teeth from damaging bacterial toxins.
You and your children can both save your smiles with dental sealants provided in Framingham. When you take care of your teeth, your teeth will take care of you, giving you years of excellent service. Your dentists in Framingham want to partner with you to protect your smile. Call your dentists at The Cinamon & Hubley Dental Practice in Framingham, Massachusetts today and find out what dental sealants can do for your smile!
So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?
Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!
Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.
If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.
If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.
A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.
Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”
Your child has had braces for a few months and making good progress with correcting a poor bite (malocclusion), but you’ve also noticed something else: his gums are becoming red and swollen.
These are symptoms of gingivitis, a periodontal (gum) disease. It’s an infection that arises when plaque, a thin film of bacteria and food particles, isn’t adequately removed from teeth with daily brushing and flossing. The braces increase the risk for gingivitis.
This is because the hardware — metal or plastic brackets cemented to the teeth and joined together by metal bands — makes it more difficult to reach many areas of the teeth with a brush or floss string. The plaque left behind can trigger an infection that causes inflammation (swelling) and bleeding.
To exacerbate the situation, gums don’t always take well to braces and can react by overgrowing. Wearing braces may also coincide with a teenager’s surge in hormones that can accelerate the infection. Untreated, gingivitis can develop into advanced stages of disease that may eventually cause tooth loss. The effect is also heightened as we’re orthodontically putting stress on teeth to move them.
You can stay ahead of gingivitis through extra diligence with daily hygiene, especially taking a little more time to adequately get to all tooth surfaces with your brush and floss. It may also help to switch to a motorized brush or one designed to work around braces. You can make flossing easier by using special threaders to get around the wires or a water flosser that removes plaque with a pulsating water stream.
And don’t forget regular dental visits while wearing braces: we can monitor and treat overgrowth, perform thorough dental cleanings and treat occurrences of gingivitis. In some cases you may need to visit a periodontist, a specialist in gums and supporting teeth structures, for more advanced treatment. And if the disease becomes extensive, the braces may need to be removed temporarily to treat the gums and allow them to heal.
Orthodontic treatment is important for not only creating a new smile but also improving your teeth’s function. Keeping a close eye out for gum disease will make sure it doesn’t sidetrack your efforts in gaining straighter teeth.
If you would like more information on dental care during orthodontics, 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 “Gum Swelling During Orthodontics.”