Is Orthodontics Right for Me?

“I’m too old to straighten my teeth.”

“so my teeth are crooked:  I’m not that vain”.

Maybe you’ve heard these comments before or have said them yourself.  Many people deny themselves from considering straightening their teeth because they see it as only an issue of vanity, or view their misaligned teeth as a sign of their individuality.

Many  believe that alignment of the teeth is merely a cosmetic issue, or treatment for younger people, but  it is much more; proper tooth alignment not only makes us look great, but also makes sense from a health standpoint.

Our teeth are engineered to handle stresses in their long axis.  When the teeth are in proper alignment, they handle those stresses very efficiently.  Other structures within the mouth, such as the bones that support the teeth, the muscles moving the jaw around, the tendons and ligaments holding the bones and muscles in place, and the gums, all benefit from proper alignment.  Over time, teeth that are not in proper alignment can become damaged as well as the surrounding structures.  We encourage re-alignment of the teeth as part of their therapy for problems of the jaw joints and gums.

To maintain efficient dental hygiene, it is much easier to brush and floss teeth that are properly aligned than those that are malpositioned or crooked.

Maintaining healthy smiles for a lifetime involves keeping our teeth aligned properly.  Let us know if you would like to be evaluated for orthodontic treatment.

Inlays And Onlays In Dentistry

Inlays and onlays are state of art, conservative dental restorations. Dental Inlays and Onlays are the procedures that are mid-way between a filling and crown. Inlays and onlays are used when there is not enough tooth structure to support a filling yet there is also not enough damage for a dental crown. Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of natural teeth whereas as an alternative inlays/onlays are bonded directly onto a tooth using special resins that actually increase the strength of the tooth. Dental inlay lies within the cusp on chewing surface of teeth.  Whereas an onlay is more extensive and tends to cover more than one cusp.

Replacing silver/mercury fillings with inlays

Materials Used in Inlays and Onlays in Dentistry

  • Both inlays and onlays can be composed of gold, resin (composite) or ceramic material.
  • In the past, gold has been the material of choice.
  • In recent years, porcelain has become popular due to its strength and shade that matches the natural tooth color.

Procedure for Inlay and Onlay Treatment

An Inlay and Onlay is a solid filling fabricated outside the mouth and then cemented into the tooth.  The procedure performed in two dental visits.

  • At first visit, removal of the old filling and decay is performed and the tooth is prepared for the restoration.
  • Next, we take an impression (mold) of the tooth and send it to our dental laboratory.
  • The lab fabricates a precision-made porcelain inlay or onlay using the impression.
  • At the second visit the temporary inlay or onlay is removed and the permanent ceramic one is bonded to the tooth with a strong bonding resin and polished smooth.
  • Generally, we take a digital x-ray to ensure a precision fit on the restoration  and then make any necessary adjustments.

Advantages of Inlays and Onlays in Dentistry

  • Compared to a composite filling, an inlay or onlay increases the strength of tooth and has a greater lifespan.
  • These are the best alternatives to a crown when teeth damage is not extensive.
  • Gives better aesthetic appearance as compared to amalgam (silver/mercury) filling. No metal shows.
  • In comparison to a crown (cap), they are more biologically compatible because more enamel remains to come into contact with the gums.
  • Greater longevity the a routine filling.
  • Once bonded to the tooth, it increases the strength of the tooth.

Disadvantages of inlays/ onlays

  • More expensive than routine fillings.
  • Requires a second visit.

If you have questions regarding your need for an inlay, onlay, crown or routine filling, give us a call at Forum Dental Group  (425) 357-1818 or you may ask it here.

WHAT YOUR SMILE CAN DO FOR YOU AND OTHERS

The Beauty in a Smile

It is an interesting fact that people can make themselves and others feel happier by consciously forcing a smile. While it may not be a scientifically proven idea, the “science of smiling” does provide food for thought. After all, who can deny that a friendly smile aimed in one’s direction lightens their mood, and causes them want to smile as well?

Affordable Aesthetics

The most inexpensive and effective way to make yourself more beautiful is to put a smile on your face!!

Cosmetic Procedures Using Divine Proportion

Dr. Michael LaMarche uses Leonardo da Vinci’s principle of Divine Proportion with non-surgical cosmetic makeovers. Beautiful and enduring smiles are proportioned to harmonize with one’s  unique facial features to emphases individual beauty.

Stained teeth ages our smiles, but a smile that is too-white smile can look out of place in the prime of life. Our teeth tend to wear and become shorter as we get older. Tooth lengthening is an effective solution to restore those years.  Laugh lines and wrinkles can often be muted by using dental techniques to fill out these facial areas. Your smile will look totally natural.

How do we turn artistic inspiration into reality?  Whitening is one of the simplest and most popular procedures for revitalizing a smile. Many studies show that most of us perceive a brighter smile to be more youthful and attractive. Veneers can be applied to widen your teeth, lengthen them, or add thickness to broaden your smile. Cosmetic procedures are well worth the investment to restore the proportions your face was meant to have. Talk to us about inspired enhancements for your smile.

Gum and Heart Health

Gum Disease Spreads Bacteria into the Arteries

In his Heart Health Report for October 2011 (vol. 2 Issue 10), Chauncey Crandall, MD, a cardiac surgeon, points out among other factors, the importance of good oral health as it relates to the potential to maintain a healthy heart.

Seldom do cardiologists look inside their patients’ mouths. Although we do not know exactly how gum disease affects the heart, we believe we are getting closer to the mechanism of cause and effect.

All humans have millions of bacteria living in their mouths. When a person has gum disease, these bacteria enter the bloodstream through open sores in the gum tissues. The bacteria then adhere to plaque in the coronary arteries, causing the narrowing and inflammation to become worse.

Understanding the body’s inflammatory response to localized inflammation, helps us to visualize the bigger picture as well. When we has gum disease, the body is in a chronic, inflammatory state due to the generalized circulation of these specific enzymes which contribute to the formation of atherosclerotic plaques within the blood vessels.

In addition, when our arteries become inflamed, it’s more likely that newly formed, soft plaque will rupture or break away and create a blood clot that blocks an artery completely, leading to a heart attack.

So being attentive to our teeth is critical in order to protect us from heart disease! This means brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing daily, and regularly visiting the dentist

Wisdom Teeth & Their Removal

The wisdom teeth are the last molars found in the back of the mouth. Most people have  first molars (six-year molar), second molars (12-year molar ) and third molars (18-year).  We often see the third molars (wisdom teeth) erupt at the end of the teenage years.  Often times the mouth is too small for these four additional molars, requiring extraction soon after they begin erupting into the mouth.  Serious problems can develop from impacted (partially blocked) wisdom teeth like infection and damage to adjacent teeth.  Consequently removal of  an impacted wisdom tooth is indicated.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When should molars be extracted – The following symptoms indicate a problem with a wisdom teeth (third molars) and require an x-ray to confirm this.  Infection in mouth.

  • Pain
  • Facial Swelling
  • Swelling of gum line behind the last molar.

In situations as above, Forum Dental Group recommends immediate removal of wisdom teeth.  This will eliminate a continued problem that may ultimately destroys second molars. Third molar impaction is very common dental developmental disorder-the jaw bones are too small for the size of the teeth.

Why molars should be extracted? – Due to impacted third molars the following problems may appear requiring extraction.

  • Reoccurring Percoronitis – Pericoronitis is an infection located in the surrounding tissues of a wisdom tooth that has not fully emerged through the gums into its proper position (partially erupted tooth). Severe pain is often associated with an unpleasant mouth odor due to the infection.
  • Cysts and tumors – Cyst and tumors can develop in the tissues associated with wisdom teeth.
  • Crowding-This can cause adjacent teeth to move out of correct alignment
  • Damage to neighboring tooth- When misdirected wisdom teeth attempts to erupt it can cause resorption (dissolve away) of the roots of 2nd molar.

The wisdom tooth in this illustration is destroying the second molar with its hard enamel crown dissolving away the softer cementum on its root surfaceEnamel crown dissolving the roots of a second molar

After Effects of Molar Extraction

  • Some bleeding may occur for some hours after molar extraction.
  • Swelling Trauma from extraction can cause swelling.  Any swelling which does occur can be kept to minimum by placing ice on face, in the area of the extraction.
  • Activities– avoid strenuous activities for 24 hours after tooth extraction.
  • Food and Eating After molar extraction a soft or liquid diet is suggested for 24 hours.
  • Brushing and cleaning It is important to maintain good oral hygiene during healing process. On the day of extraction, brushing the teeth directly near the extraction should be avoided.

If you have questions regarding wisdom teeth or other removal give us a call at Forum Dental Group (425) 357-1818 or ask it here.

Teeth Whitening (Bleaching)

These days, Teeth whitening is what most people desire and aspire to acquire and it is like a craze across the world.  Teeth enamel discolors due to tea, coffee, red wine, smoking, etc. Teeth whitening is a procedure, which is useful in lightening discoloration, accumulated on the tooth surface over a period of time. Although some whitening procedures claim they can whiten one’s teeth by up to nine shades, this is highly unlikely. A change of 2-3 shades makes a significant difference in anyone’s smile.

Are Teeth Whitening process safe? -All studies have shown that teeth whitening is a safe process when done under the supervision of an expert. It is a myth that a bleaching gel destroys the teeth.

  • Bleaching -Bleaching is the most common procedure of teeth whitening. It whitens teeth that are discolored due to injury or drinking habits. Even a tooth, with root canal treated tooth can receive bleaching treatment. The bleaching system used at Forum Dental Group for whiter teeth, involves the use of trays in which the bleaching solution is placed.   We prefer this option as opposed to the in-office system as this give control to the patient in determining how light to brighten the teeth and allows for them to “touch-up” whenever they wish.

Side Effects of Teeth whitening During the process of teeth whitening by bleaching, some people may experience sensitivity to cold items. This is temporary and vanishes soon after the treatment is finished. There are no long term harmful effects to bleaching.

How long the results of teeth whitening last Whitening of teeth is not a permanent procedure. Results can last for one to more years, depending upon your personal habits.  We recommend a half an hour at home, “touch-up” session every 6-12 months.

If you feel you are a candidate for teeth whitening, give us a call at Forum Dental Group (425) 357-1818.

Bruxism “Tooth Grinding”

Patients are often concerned about the nocturnal grinding of teeth (bruxism). Often, the first indication is the noise created by the grinding on your teeth during sleep. Or, you may notice wear teeth becoming shorter and more angular (losing their soft curves). One theory as to the cause of grinding is stress. Other theories are the general neurological makeup of the individual causing the tendency to move the jaws during sleep or simply pressure in the inner ear at night.

Night time tooth grinder (Bruxer)The red line indicates where the enamel of the teeth should be.  Grinding of the teeth has worn the enamel off making this person look much older than they actually are.

The majority of cases of bruxism do not require any treatment. If excessive wear of the teeth (attrition) is present, then a mouth guard (night guard) may be indicated.

Nightguard on the Upper Teeth Nightguard on the upper teeth           Acrylic NightguardNightguards are made of hard and clear acrylic.  They are softer than the teeth they protect.

If you feel that you would benefit from a nightguard or have questions about one, call us at Forum Dental Group (425) 357-1818.

Bonding

Bonding restores chipped, cracked, discolored or misaligned teeth by rebuilding the surface with a resin material. To place the bond, your dentist prepares your tooth with an etching solution. Then special composite-resin materials are blended in colors carefully chosen to match your teeth. These materials are applied to your teeth and then shaped into just the right contours. Finally, they are bonded to the tooth where they become very hard, with a visible curing light. Bonding provides long lasting results at an affordable cost.