Posts for: December, 2017
It’s a big moment after months of wearing braces to finally get a glimpse of your new smile. The crooked teeth and poor bite are gone — and in their place are beautiful, straight teeth!
If you’re not careful, though, your new look might not last. That’s because the natural mechanism we used to straighten your teeth may try to return them to their previous poor positions.
Contrary to what many people think, teeth aren’t rigidly set within the jaw bone. Instead, an elastic, fibrous tissue known as the periodontal ligament lies between the teeth and the bone and attaches to both with tiny fibers. Though quite secure, the attachment allows the teeth to move in very minute increments in response to growth or other changes in the mouth.
Orthodontic appliances like braces or clear aligners put pressure on the teeth in the direction we wish them to move. The bone dissolves on the side of the teeth where pressure is being applied or facing the direction of movement and then builds up on the other side where tension is occurring.
The ligament, though, has a kind of “muscle memory” for the teeth’s original position. Unless it’s prevented, this “memory” will pull the teeth back to where they used to be. All the time and effort involved with wearing braces will be lost.
That’s why it’s important for you to wear an appliance called a retainer after your braces have been removed. As the name implies, the appliance “retains” the teeth in their new position until it’s more permanently set. For most people, this means wearing it for twenty-four hours in the beginning, then later only a few hours a day or while you sleep.
The majority of younger patients eventually won’t need to wear a retainer once bone and facial growth has solidified their teeth’s new position. Older adults, though, may need to wear one from now on. Even so, it’s a relatively slight inconvenience to protect that beautiful, hard-won smile.
If you would like more information on retainers, 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 “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers.”
It’s unfortunate that due to dental anxiety, many people avoid preventive care at the dentist’s office. Preventive treatments can help you avoid cavities, tooth decay, gum disease, and other common dental problems. The dental team at Ashley Lloyd, DDS in Raleigh, NC can help you with key treatments that will ensure your smile stays pristine.
What Is Preventive Dental Care?
Any treatment or maintenance that’s meant to keep your teeth clean, protected, and free from dental disease is preventive dental care. The aim is to avoid problems altogether instead of having to fix them in the future. When you work with your Raleigh dentist and keep up with regular visits, you’ll get into the habit of taking better care of your teeth. Preventive care treatments will give you more confidence in the health of your teeth and gums.
Why Is It So Important?
About 18 percent of children under the age of 19 have untreated dental cavities, and that number increases to 31 percent once they reach adulthood according to CDC statistics. Nearly half of American adults have gum disease according to the CDC. Early dental intervention could prevent these problems. Many people, unfortunately, wait until there is a severe toothache to see the dentist, but by that time expensive treatments may be required. Preventive care can save you a lot of time, money, and aggravation.
Preventive Care Treatments
Your teeth need constant care and attention if you want them to stay healthy throughout your life. Here is a list of some of the most common treatments that fall under the umbrella of preventive care:
- Standard cleaning and exam.
- Dental sealants to prevent cavities.
- X-rays to check the health of the soft tissues and bone surrounding the tooth.
- Fluoride treatments to strengthen tooth enamel.
Take Positive Steps Starting Today
There’s no time like the present to take steps with your dentist to prevent future dental problems. Call 919-828-1001 today to schedule a cleaning and exam with Dr. Ashley Lloyd at her office in Raleigh, NC.
Are you tired of those stained, chipped, slightly crooked or—in a word—unattractive teeth? We have an effective solution for you: cover them with life-like porcelain veneers.
As the name implies, a veneer is a thin layer of dental porcelain custom-made to match your tooth’s shape and color and permanently bonded to the outside enamel. With its translucent, light-reflective quality similar to tooth enamel, dental porcelain looks completely natural. Veneers are well suited for minor to moderate imperfections, and can even be used to correct slight gaps between teeth.
We begin the process by performing a comprehensive dental exam to begin planning the exact shape and color of your new veneers. We can now do much of this planning with computer imaging, which may also give you the chance to see how your veneers will look on you after treatment.
We often will also need to prepare the teeth to accommodate the veneers when we bond them. Although the alterations shouldn’t be anywhere near as extensive as with a porcelain crown, we will still often need to remove some of the enamel layer so the veneer won’t look bulky. Even though we’ll remove as little as possible, if needed it will still permanently alter your teeth—so they’ll require some form of restoration from then on.
Once we’ve prepared the teeth, it’s then time to create the veneers. This is typically done by a dental laboratory technician through a manual process that may take several weeks. Increasingly, though, equipped dental offices are now able to generate their veneers in-house with computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacture (CAD/CAM) milling technology.
Once the veneers are ready, they’re bonded securely to the teeth with a detailed process that helps ensure they’ll endure biting and chewing forces for a long time. Still, you’ll need to avoid biting into hard objects or using your teeth for such things as cracking nuts. If you have a clenching or grinding habit, we may also recommend you wear a night guard to prevent excessive forces against not just your veneers but your teeth as well.
By taking good care of them, your new veneers can give you many years of service. Most of all, they can transform your embarrassing appearance into a smile you’re proud to show.
If you would like more information on porcelain veneers, 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 “Porcelain Veneers.”