Posts for: April, 2016
Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.
He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”
Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.
There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.
The Science Behind the Magic
There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.
The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.
How’s that for a disappearing act?!
If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”
Dental implants are among the most popular tooth replacements with their high success rate, durability and life-like beauty. But obtaining them is a process that requires commitment, planning, and coordination — it takes a team.
Your general dentist is often the first team member you’ll encounter: because they’re most familiar with your mouth’s condition the implant discussion naturally begins here. They can help you determine if you’re a good candidate for implants, such as if you have sufficient bone mass at the intended site or if you have dental disease that must be treated first. They’ll also continue monitoring your general dental health throughout the process.
Your general dentist may also have the special training for surgically placing implants. If not, he or she may refer you to your next team member: an oral surgeon or periodontist skilled in implantation procedures. This step first requires careful planning, including developing a surgical guide for precise placement of the implant. These specialists may also contribute to other aspects of the implant process such as tooth extraction or bone grafting.
A few weeks after surgery bone will have grown and adhered to the implant to form a solid bond. It’s time for you to go back to your dentist who will work in conjunction with another member of your team, a dental lab technician. Together, your dentist and laboratory technician will guide the development, manufacture and placement of the implant’s life-like porcelain crown. The technician will take their specifications from the surgeon and your general dentist and, with his or her skill and artistry, form a crown that will blend well in color and shape with the rest of your teeth.
We also can’t forget another important team member: you. Without your input, especially in the early planning stages, your expectations for a more attractive smile might not be met. The rest of your implant team depends on you communicating your desires and wishes to balance with the technical requirements they must achieve.
The process for dental implants can take months. But with the coordinated efforts of your implant team you’ll be able to enjoy results — renewed function and a more attractive smile — that could last for decades.
If you would like more information on dental implants, 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 “Dental Implants.”
Dental pain can be unbearable. But a root canal might just be the solution!
Has one of our Salem, NH dentists Dr. Nicholas Papapetros, Dr. Jhon Giraldo or Dr. Paul Masterson recently told you that you need to have a root canal? Do you have your procedure scheduled but are still feeling a bit nervous about it? That’s completely normal before any dental treatment, but our goal is to make you feel comfortable. Find out more about root canals and why there really isn’t anything to worry about.
What is a dental pulp and why does it need to be removed?
If you were to look inside the tooth you would find soft tissue known as the dental pulp. While the pulp was important for the development of the tooth, once the tooth has developed it doesn’t actually need the pulp to survive.
Sometimes decay, infection or direct trauma to the tooth can irritate or even infect the dental pulp. Once this problem reaches the inside of the tooth the only way for your general dentist in Salem, NH to treat the tooth is with a root canal.
Of course, many people who are dealing with any of these problems will often notice pretty persistent or severe dental pain. Tooth pain is not to be ignored. This pain can make it difficult to open your mouth or chew food. But the purpose of a root canal is to remove the infected or irritated pulp and eliminate your pain for good.
But aren’t root canals painful?
Sadly, root canals get a bad rap for being painful and invasive, but you’ll be surprised to find out that having this procedure done is really no more complicated or stressful than getting a dental filling placed. In fact, many root canals can be performed in just one or two visits, depending on the severity of your condition and other personal factors. But because this is performed under local anesthesia, you’ll feel comfortable during your treatment.
Don’t let a problem tooth ruin your smile. At the first sign of problems turn to Stiles Family Dentistry in Salem, NH to get your smile back on track. Enjoy a healthy smile for life!